What Are the Most Common Addictions in Texas?

Last Updated on October 4, 2023

most common addictions in Texas

While drug problems plague every region of this country, the specific substances of abuse differ from state to state. In this post, we’ll look at some of the most common addictions in Texas. Drug addiction is a public health crisis that has reached epidemic proportions across the United States and the soaring rates of heroin abuse have garnered national attention, but the nation’s drug problem isn’t confined to any one particular area. It seems that no state has managed to escape this scourge, and Texas is no exception.

Texas Substance Abuse Statistics

To get a better look at the overall drug abuse in Texas, here are some of the most recent Texas drug use statistics.

Drug overdose deaths 2014-2016 data (per 100,000 population)1

  • Harris County – 1,384
  • Denton – 178
  • Collin – 227
  • El Paso – 220
  • Tarrant – 592
  • Bexar – 614
  • Travis – 415
  • Dallas – 949
  • Galveston – 151
  • Nueces – 193
  • Montgomery – 171
  • Fort Bend – 120

Drug Abuse in Texas

  • 1,386,158 people in Texas reported having a substance use disorder involving alcohol.2
  • 465,102 people in Texas reported having a substance use disorder involving illicit drugs.2
  • The most commonly seized drugs in Texas in 2015 were methamphetamine, cannabis, and cocaine.2
  • Statewide, in 2015 there were 1,174 opioid-related deaths in Texas.3
  • There were 715 deaths due to methamphetamine in Texas in 2017.4
  • There were 539 deaths due to heroin in Texas in 2017.4
  • Methamphetamine seizures at the Texas-Mexico border have increased by 103% since 2014.4
  • Alprazolam (Xanax) was the most abused benzodiazepine in Texas in 2017.4

Top 10 Drugs Seized by Law Enforcement in Texas, 2015

top 10 drugs seized in Texas
Source: https://ndews.umd.edu/sites/ndews.umd.edu/files/u1424/texas_scs_drug_use_patterns_and_trends_2016.pdf

Common Addictions in Texas by the Numbers

One of the ways to assess the most common addictions in a state is to look at data regarding drug treatment admissions. According to statistics on Texas addiction treatment admissions from 2015 (the most recent year available), alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in the state, followed by heroin (and other opiates) and marijuana, respectively.5

A total of 37,370 people were admitted to state-funded substance abuse treatment programs in 2015. The table below is a breakdown of the primary substances of abuse at admission.

Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions in Texas, 2015 (ages 12 and over)

Alcohol 10,402
Heroin 6,586
Other opiates 2,238
Cocaine 3,213
Marijuana 7,559
Methamphetamine 6,233
Tranquilizers  630
Sedatives 23
Hallucinogens 62
PCP 230
Inhalants 29
Other (none specified) 165

Source: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/2015%20TEDS_State%20Admissions.pdf

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Common Addictions in Texas by the Numbers

One of the ways to assess which drug addictions are most common in a state is to look at data regarding drug treatment admissions. According to statistics on Texas treatment admissions, marijuana is the most commonly abused drug in the state; cocaine and heroin take second and third place, respectively.1

A few factors contribute to the high rate of marijuana abuse in Texas; the introduction of blunt cigars has driven up the use of cannabis, as has the trend toward vaping cannabis oil. The availability of quality marijuana from Colorado also plays a role and abusing the substance has become one of the more common addictions in Texas. Many people mistakenly assume that marijuana has no addictive properties and cannot be abused, but drug treatment admissions statistics clearly refute this.

Cocaine Abuse in Texas

Although cocaine, which includes crack as well as the powdered form, was responsible for the second-highest number of treatment admissions in Texas, cocaine addiction in the state has decreased in recent years.

The demographics of cocaine abuse are changing as well. The percentage of African American cocaine users has decreased, while the percentage of Caucasian users has increased.2 Recent forensic data reveals that more and more cocaine is being discovered along the Mexican border, so cocaine use may see a spike in the near future.

A Growing Heroin Problem

Heroin abuse has been skyrocketing across the United States in recent years. As recently as 2003, use of the drug had reached record lows. Just over a decade later, the number of heroin users has tripled. This level of heroin addiction hasn’t been observed since the heroin epidemic of the mid-1970s, both in Texas and elsewhere in the country.

Texas’ location on the border of Mexico plays a role in the state’s heroin problem. The most common forms of heroin being sold and used in Texas are powdered brown heroin and black tar heroin—two types of heroin manufactured in Mexico. These formulas are not desirable for smoking and are usually injected.

Meth and heroin addiction in West Texas, drug trafficking, and drug-related crimes are all increasing and have been correlated with oil drilling in the area. The Houston Chronicle recently reported that more than three times the amount of local workers tested positive for meth in the first half of 2017 than in the first half of 2009. The increase followed a major boom in oil and gas production in the area.7,8 Methamphetamine and heroin addiction in Midland and nearby areas plague many oilfield workers due to factors like long shifts, tough working conditions, and easy access to drugs.

Get Help Today: Drug Detox in Houston and Austin, TX

It’s clear that drug abuse is a serious problem in the United States, and certain drug addictions are particularly common in Texas. If you’re a Texas resident who is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, it’s important to remember that recovery is an option. Nova Recovery Center, a 90-day residential treatment center in Texas has many treatment options available. Drug rehab in Austin, Texas is closer than you think – call today to conquer your addiction and live the life you were meant to live.


  1. https://mic.com/articles/80091/which-drug-is-your-state-most-addicted-to-this-map-reveals-a-disturbing-trend#.3VIvSDFf5
  2. https://www.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/texas2014a.pdf
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