Drug Abuse Statistics in Austin

Austin Drug Abuse
Travis County, home to the city of Austin, experienced over 2,500 people being admitted for substance abuse treatment in 2002. Of those admitted, the nearly half were admitted for alcohol abuse, and the other half was admitted for other types of drugs. For every drug except those classified as “downers” and “other opiates” males dominated the population. Interestingly enough, more than 75% of patients were not married and had were not employed.

Substance-Related Arrests
While most of the residents in Austin do not abuse drugs, there are still a large number of people who do abuse them, as shown above. However, the statistics above only include those admitted for treatment and does not fully paint the picture of drug abuse in Austin. Taking a look at the number of substance-related arrests, for example, one can see another side of the drug world. In 2004, there were 3,681 drug possession arrests and 412 drug trafficking arrests. This includes all illegal hard drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and club drugs (ecstasy).

Heroin Abuse
Unfortunately, heroin is common on the streets on Austin. In 2002, for instance, the number of people admitted for marijuana abuse was only 2/3 that of the number of people admitted for heroin. The May 2007 edition of the Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse released by the Office of National Drug Control Policy stated about heroin:

In Austin, shooting galleries in the Montopolis area are reported to have disappeared as long-term users have either died, are in prison or have moved out of the area to avoid harassment from the police. Despite this, heroin is plentiful in the Montopolis area and three to four balloons of good quality heroin sell for $25 or less. Additional intelligence indicates that both black tar and Mexican brown heroin sell for $1,400­ $1,600/ounce in Austin.

While heroin is mostly injected into the body through needles, in the past year there has been an increase in the amount of heroin that is being snorted in powder form. The younger demographic is the cause of the snorting because they think they will not become addicted, but this a false belief and they eventually end up abusing the drug.

Drug Abuse Statistics – Trends in the New Generation

Monitoring the drug abuse statistics in our youth is a great indicator of the future of the next generations. Organizations such as Monitoring The Future (MTF) have been conducting research since the mid 1970s on the use of drugs amongst 12th grade students and their perception of drugs and its use. The University of Michigan’s Institute of Social Research conducts the studies.

The study is longitudinal and follows the patterns and changes in attitudes of the students over time. In 1991, the studies included 8th and 10th graders too.

The latest drug abuse statistics conducted by MTF were taken in 2008. The key findings showed a decrease in the abuse pattern for a majority of the drugs compared to the previous year.

There were a few positive results that were highlighted. In 2008, the number of 10th graders that have used any illicit drugs in their lifetime had significantly declined in comparison to 2007.

The percentage of youngsters in this age group that smoke cigarettes have continued to decline over the years, and has fallen to the lowest rate in the history of the survey. This is a promising finding, as the use of tobacco is one of the major concerns in health problems.

The use of any stimulant such as amphetamines and crystal methamphetamine is in continuing decline. The use of crack cocaine amongst 12th graders declined from 2008 to 2007.

Overall, the use of alcohol has also decreased amongst all the mentioned age groups in the last year. The 10the graders display a significant decline in the usage of alcohol.

However, there are also areas of concern that have been highlighted by the drug abuse statistics. Even though the use of marijuana has declined over the years, it appears to have reached a plateau with as much as 32.4 per cent of 12th graders using it regularly. The statistics for the use of prescriptive drugs without a medical prescription is also cause for concern with 15.4 per cent of 12th graders having done so in the past year. The perception of risk of harm associated with the use of LSD is also in continual decline. Next: Follow the links below to read more on the topics of drug addiction and abuse.

The True Use of Drug Abuse Statistics

Drug abuse statistics truly are very useful when it comes to determining how big an effect the use of narcotics or scheduled medications are having on our modern day society but are they a true reflection of the epidemic which is spiraling out of control in our modern day society.

Do these drug addiction statistics actually represent to true proportion which they should as to the effect which drug addiction and abuse is having on the world’s population? I think not and the reason why I say this is that to accurately measure the number of people abusing drugs, we need not only to look at the abuse of street drugs, but scheduled medications as well.

There are far to many variables which are unaccounted for when it comes to gathering drug abuse statistics and it is for this reason that I would like to propose that when we look at these statistics, we are in reality only seeing the tip of the iceberg and not the true reality of the problem.

Yes, there will be those who say that things can be worked out according to averages, but in the case of drug abuse statistics, I personally believe that this is definitely not the case. We need to realize that every section of our community is being affected by this kind of abuse and there is nothing average about it.

I personally think it is a good thing to try to keep record of drug abuse statistics, but at the same time believe that if a significant portion of the time, energy, money and effort which is used to acquire these stats was put into actually addressing this epidemic, far more lives would be saved than by simply recording its effects which if we open our eyes we see is spiraling out of control.

I personally have been down the road to addiction and know that to return from the place it leads you to is no easy task. We need to spend a bit more time and energy on focusing on the cause of this problem and perhaps a little less time simply collecting the information pertaining to the effect which it is having on society as a whole.

Somewhere something has gone terribly wrong and it is our responsibility to prevent it from getting worse and worse. We need to begin to take action against this epidemic which is robbing so many families the world over of their loved ones and quality of life. In my eyes, this is far more important than simply keeping records of the effects which drug abuse is having on the earth’s population.