Drug & Alcohol Statistics for Dallas, TX

How Has Substance Abuse Impacted Dallas, TX?

Drug & Alcohol Statistics for Dallas

Substance abuse has taken a toll on countless communities and families all across the United States. It’s devastating to see the impact it has had. But have you stopped to think about how it affects our own community here in Dallas? In this article, we’ll dig into the drug & alcohol statistics for Dallas, TX. We will explore what’s going on in our own backyard and how it compares to the rest of the state.

If you or someone you care about suffers from addiction, reach out to our inpatient substance abuse rehab near Dallas, TX today.

Drug Abuse in Dallas

The drug crisis in Dallas ranges from adults all the way to 12 year old children. A recent study found that annually 641,000 people in Dallas use an illicit drug. That accounts for 13.2% of the Dallas population. This is higher than the entire state of Texas (12.6%) and is close to the national average (14.7%).

The University of Texas at Austin conducted a study to find the most used drugs in Dallas, Texas. The top five drug threats are:

  • Methamphetamine
  • Heroin
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Cocaine
  • Cannabis

The fastest growing drug threat to Dallas is methamphetamine. It’s attractive to many individuals because of its high purity, low cost, and incredibly intense and long-lasting effects on the body.

The specific pharmaceutical that’s pouring into Dallas, TX at an alarming rate is fentanyl. According to the Dallas chief of police, in the past year, his officers confiscated a staggering amount of fentanyl that was enough to kill thousands of people.

Success Stories and Recovery Journeys

Dallas Highways Contribute To Illicit Drug Abuse

With its extensive network of over 30 major roads, including interstates, US routes, and state highways, Dallas is a major drug distribution center. Drug traffickers across the US specifically come to Dallas to get drugs from local suppliers, taking advantage of the city’s strategic location and accessibility. Dallas receives drug shipments primarily through Laredo and El Paso, with increasing amounts coming from California, Arizona, and Houston.

Drug & Alcohol Statistics for Dallas TX

Alcohol Abuse in Dallas, TX

Alcohol abuse in the state of Texas is a pressing issue. Over 1 million Texans suffer from alcohol abuse annually.

It’s reported that in Dallas, 22.5% of individuals from 12 years old and up engage in binge drinking in a year. This contributes heavily to rates of alcohol related deaths in Dallas. The amount of deaths have steadily increased and is now higher than the entire state of Texas.

The number of fatalities due to drunk driving has risen as well. Studies have found that Dallas drivers choose to drive while intoxicated more often than intoxicated drivers in other parts of the county. Dallas ranks fifth in drunk driving deaths among the 25 largest US cities from 2001 to 2010, and fourth in overall traffic fatalities.

Drug and Alcohol-Related Overdoses in Dallas

The increase in deaths due to overdoses in Texas is troubling. According to recent statistics, overdose deaths have increased by 33% in Texas one year which is more than 4,000 people.

Because of the rise in fentanyl abuse in Dallas, more and more overdose deaths have been linked to fentanyl and fentanyl laced in other pills. A fatal dose of fentanyl is only 2 milligrams and the Dallas police seized nearly 400,000 milligrams in a single year.  

Causes and Contributing Factors

The causes and contributing factors of substance abuse in Dallas, TX, are multifaceted, deeply rooted in a combination of socioeconomic factors and psychological influences. Socioeconomic challenges, including poverty, unemployment, and lack of access to education, often create an environment where drug and alcohol use appear as a temporary escape from daily struggles. This is exacerbated by disparities in access to healthcare and support services, leaving those in economically disadvantaged positions more vulnerable to substance abuse.

Additionally, psychological factors play a significant role. Individuals dealing with mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, may turn to drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication. The impact of social influences cannot be overlooked either; peer pressure, family dynamics, and exposure to substance use at a young age significantly increase the risk of developing addictive behaviors.

These interwoven socioeconomic and psychological elements create a complex landscape that fuels the ongoing challenge of substance abuse in Dallas.

Government Policies and Initiatives

The state of Texas, including the city of Dallas, has implemented several key policies and initiatives to address substance abuse:

DSHS Action Plan to Address Substance Use (2020-2023): Launched in 2020, this three-year action plan, coordinated by the Community Health Improvement Division, focuses on addressing substance use throughout Texas, including Dallas. The plan was developed collaboratively with various partners and stakeholders and has shown significant progress as part of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) programming​​.

Texas Statewide Behavioral Health Strategic Plan (2022-2026): This strategic plan encompasses a statewide approach to reduce and prevent justice involvement among those with behavioral health needs, including substance use disorders. It represents a comprehensive strategy over a four-year period, starting from fiscal year 2022, and is part of the broader framework established during the 84th Legislative Session in 2015​​.

88th Texas Legislature Initiatives (2023): The 88th Legislative Session, beginning in January 2023, presents further opportunities to address mental health and substance use issues in Texas. These initiatives aim to improve the state’s response to the needs of people living with mental health conditions, including intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), and substance use disorders​​.

Behavioral Health Services Grants (2024/2025): In August 2023, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission sought public comments for the Federal Fiscal Year 2024/2025 Combined Mental Health Block Grant. This grant focuses on Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services, and includes a comprehensive Behavioral Health Assessment and Plan​​.

Texas Targeted Opioid Response (TTOR): This public health initiative is dedicated to saving lives and providing ongoing support to Texans struggling with opioid and stimulant use disorders. TTOR expands access to prevention, integrated treatment, and recovery support services, showcasing the state’s commitment to addressing specific substance use challenges with targeted responses​​.

These policies and initiatives reflect a multi-faceted approach by the Texas government, including efforts within Dallas, to tackle the complex issues surrounding substance abuse. They encompass a range of strategies from prevention and treatment to recovery support, highlighting the state’s commitment to addressing this critical public health challenge.

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center for Dallas

Renewal Lodge is an inpatient rehab serving Dallas, TX. We create individualized treatment plans for patient and provide programs such as:

Mindfulness in Recovery Treatment

Mindfulness helps rebuild and restore healthy neural pathways in the brain. 

Emotional Intelligence Training

Patients reshape their entire lives through learning emotional intelligence.

The Family Program

Families heal by receiving knowledge and support surrounding addiction and recovery.


For each patient, we create outcare treatment plans to ensure ongoing support is always available.

Located in scenic Elgin, Texas, our addiction treatment center is conveniently near Austin, TX, and merely a 3 hour drive from Dallas.

We empower our patients to triumph over substance abuse.

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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