Drug & Alcohol Statistics for Austin, TX

How Has Substance Abuse Impacted Austin, TX?

Texas Capitol in Austin over Congress Bridge

It’s common to think that substance abuse only impacts the individual struggling with it. However, the repercussions reverberate throughout communities and families across the United States. The Austin, TX, community showcases the terrible effects.

It’s disconcerting that Austin is the top city in Texas for drug abuse. It’s also referred to as the drunkest city in Texas. In this article, we delve into the statistics surrounding drug and alcohol use in Austin, TX.

Drug Abuse in Austin

Beneath the surface of Austin’s bustling metropolis lies the complex issue of drug abuse.  This issue continues to impact individuals and communities at a rising rate. Some of the most common drugs that Austin residents use are:

  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamines 
  • Hallucinogens
  • Opioids
  • Inhalants 

The two drugs that pose the biggest threat to Austin are heroin and meth. 

It’s been reported that the meth that’s making its way into Austin is a lot more powerful than it has been in previous years. 

This extra potency is largely because it’s often smuggled into the city in liquid form. This is because it’s easier to smuggle in unnoticed. 

The liquid is then turned into “ice” before selling. When people use meth in this pure “ice” form, the effects hit them much harder. It’s also known to cause much worse side effects.

Heroin is also on rise in Austin, TX. This has caused a spike in overdoses because users are snorting rather than injecting themselves

Some young adults mistakenly believe that snorting won’t lead to addiction. Unfortunately, many eventually transition to injecting the drug sooner or later.

Increased adulteration with Fentanyl makes heroin more deadly than ever.  

Deaths Due To Overdoses in Austin & Travis County

Austin is grappling with rising drug overdoses. 

Sadly, in 2021, Austin lost 247 lives from overdoses. This translates to roughly 25.6 deaths per 100,000 residents. 

To put it in perspective, that’s 55% higher than the Texas state average of 14.1 deaths per 100,000. It’s almost the same as the national rate of 28.3 overdose deaths per 100,000.

The situation took an even darker turn in 2022. In the first half of the year, Travis County recorded nearly 200 opioid overdose deaths. 

Shockingly, that’s more than double the number of deaths from both suicide and car accidents combined. 

What’s truly troubling is that drugs like Adderall, Xanax, and Molly are getting laced with fentanyl which is a lethal opioid that’s more potent than heroin. Fentanyl played a role in 50% of these fatalities.

In the span of a few years, fentanyl-related overdoses have skyrocketed from a mere 4% to a staggering 36% of all overdoses. This shift alarms medical professionals and law enforcement alike.

Austin ATX

Alcohol Abuse in Austin

The Daily Beast has dubbed Austin as one of the “Drunkest Cities in America.” In fact, it’s fifth on the list of drunkest cities in the entire nation. It’s the only city in The Lone Star State on the list. 

According to data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Austin and Round Rock area has the highest rate of alcohol abuse in The Lone Star State. 

As many as 22.3% of drinkers in the Austin/Round Rock area can be considered binge drinkers according to the CDC’s definition of the term.

Bottom line, Austin is known for its vibrant nightlife and social scene, but it’s also grappling with some serious alcohol-related challenges.

DUI Crisis in Austin

Austin, Texas, finds itself at the center of a concerning DUI crisis that mirrors a nationwide epidemic. 

In a single year, a staggering 10,000 lives were tragically lost in alcohol-impaired driving crashes across the country, and Austin is no exception to these alarming numbers. 

According to a report from Cars.com, Austin, TX ranks 9th on the top 10 cities for drunk driving violations in the US.  

The gravity of the situation is clear when you consider that over a five-year span, there were 30,005 DUI arrests in Austin. That’s an astonishing average of more than 16 DUI arrests every single day in the city. 

Perhaps the most chilling statistic of all is that a daunting 32.1% of traffic-related deaths in Austin are attributed to alcohol

This statistic underscores the devastating consequences of driving under the influence and the critical importance of fostering a culture of responsible drinking and vigilant road safety in the Austin community.

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center for Austin

Renewal Lodge is an 90-day inpatient rehab facility serving Austin, TX. Our patients receive alcohol and drug addiction treatment via our facility’s unique approach to recovery:

Mindfulness in Recovery Treatment

Patients rebuild healthy neural pathways in their brain by learning mindfulness. This aids their overall recovery.

Emotional Intelligence Training

By practicing emotional intelligence, clients learn how to understand their emotions and change their lives.

The Family Program

Through this program, families learn how to heal, support each other, and love members who deal with addiction.


Our support doesn’t end after you leave our rehab facility. We help create a outcare treatment plan for you.

Our Dual Diagnosis rehab center in Elgin, Texas is on the outskirts of Austin.

It’s close enough for you to stay connected with your family while you’re on the path to recovery. At the same time, you’re far enough away from Austin to avoid potential triggers and distractions.

When you’re ready to start your journey to freedom, contact Renewal Lodge. We support you every step of the way.

Contact Us Today!

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Dear Renewal Lodge Visitors,

My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my recovery in 1984. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

My journey of recovery brought this once homeless, shame-based, traumatized, insecure young man to a life far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I discovered self-worth, the joy of helping others, the gifts of parenting and grandparenting, and most importantly the ability to live a meaningful and purposeful life with integrity.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is that I have the opportunity to give back and help others discover their self-worth, dignity, and the skills to fully live lives that they find truly meaningful. This is the inspiration for developing the skills of Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) to meet the needs of new generations struggling with alcohol and other substance use disorders. MIR is a set of evidence-based skills designed to help people fully integrate their tools of recovery in ways that are personalized, practical, and in alignment with their deepest values.

While we train counselors and therapists throughout the United States and abroad, I personally have chosen to work directly with the amazing team and clients at Renewal Lodge to develop the model MIR 12-step program for the nation. I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team. Renewal Lodge is an extremely rare environment in which the staff embodies the very mindfulness and 12-step practices and skills they offer their clients. The results have been beyond my expectations. It is an honor to be here and I treasure my personal time with every client I meet.

With Gratitude,

John Bruna
John Bruna
Director of Mindfulness
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