Drug & Alcohol Statistics for Tyler, TX & East Texas

How Has Substance Abuse Impacted Tyler, TX?

Drug & Alcohol Statistics for Tyler TX

Substance abuse devastated many communities and families throughout the United States. But how does it affect our community in East Texas? In this article, we’ll explore drug and alcohol statistics for East Texas as well as the state at large to better understand the East Texas community.

Texas is one of the worst states with adult illicit drug problems. However, many people are surprised to discover that East Texas has a higher rate of substance use than the rest of the state.


Drug Abuse Statistics in Tyler and East Texas

Opioids are the most commonly used illicit drugs in East Texas. In fact, East Texas has been said to have an “opiate epidemic”. Studies show that 2,368 people over age 18 in Smith County and Cherokee Counties have an opioid disorder. The majority of those addicts are over 45.

Two East Texas cities, Texarkana and Longview, were ranked in the top 25 cities in the US for opioid abuse. Some attribute East Texas’ substance abuse to the region being made up of small, rural communities where there aren’t many recreational opportunities. Because of this, teens and adults turn to illicit drugs. While it may begin recreationally, the statistics prove that a bit of “fun” turns into life threatening addictions.

Having such easy access to illicit drugs in small rural communities makes it hard for East Texans who are caught in the trap of substance abuse to get out.

Tyler’s Highways Contribute To Illicit Drug Abuse

One surprising factor in East Texas’ drug problem is two major interstates. I-45 runs just west of Tyler and connects Dallas to Houston. I-20 runs through Lindale, TX which is just 20 min north of Tyler. It is a direct connection from Dallas, Texas all the way to Atlanta, Georgia. This means that Tyler and East Texas lie right in the path of illicit drug transportation.

Drug & Alcohol Statistics for Tyler TX

Alcohol Abuse Statistics in Tyler and East Texas

Alcohol abuse in the state of Texas is a serious issue. It is estimated that each year over 1 million Texans suffer from alcohol abuse.

Smith County is no exception. In 2023, statistics show that 17.9% Smith County adults binge drank at least once in the last year.

The cycle of abuse often begins when parents and adult loved ones allow teenagers to drink alcohol at an early age. In East Texas, 65% of minors get alcohol from adults, both relatives or friends. Studies show that anyone who has their first drink at the age of 15 is six times more likely to become alcohol dependent than adults who wait until 21 to drink. On average, East Texans have their first drink by the time they are 12.9. The entire state average is 13.1. This puts East Texans at greater risk of alcohol abuse.

Drug and Alcohol-Related Overdose Statistics in Tyler and East Texas

The increase in overdose deaths in Texas is troubling. According to recent statistics, overdose deaths have increased by 33% in Texas, leading to the death of more than 4,000 people.

Recent studies show that drug and alcohol overdoses in East Texas are rising as well. Smith County’s alcohol related death rate per 100,000 people is 5.0 for alcohol-induced deaths and 9.4 for drug-induced deaths.

A major contributor to overdoses in East Texas is its rural nature. Studies show that rural populations avoid substance abuse treatment. This means that rural East Texans are at a higher risk of overdose and continue misusing illicit substances. Since East Texas has more rural communities that don’t prioritize substance abuse treatment, people are more likely to turn to unsafe practices such as injection drugs. This increases the risk of contracting infectious diseases like HIV.

Arrests Due to Substance Abuse in Tyler and East Texas

Substance abuse is a growing problem in East Texas. According to recent data, drug-related arrests for adults in East Texas are higher than the entire state. Texas was 701.2 per 100,000 people. Whereas, Texas was 634.2 per 100,000 people.

Additionally, the substance abuse in Smith County is very concerning. Smith County is the third-highest in the state for alcohol and drug-related incarcerations per 100,000 people.

With the rising numbers of drug abuse in Tyler and East Texas, arrests will only continue to rise.

Substance Abuse Treatment Needs in East Texas

East Texas is facing a serious substance abuse crisis. Proper substance abuse treatment is needed to stop the increasing rates of victims. However, this is challenging because East Texas doesn’t have long term treatment facilities for substance abuse. This means providers can’t make right referrals. And patients are left without the proper care they deserve.

In-patient treatment facilities in Tyler, TX lack resources. It’s reported that access is extremely limited. Patients are put on wait lists for months. This delays recovery.

Recovery resources and programs in East Texas are almost nonexistent for both patients and care providers. Few of the programs that are available actually meet the criteria needed to provide care.

East Texas also has few dual diagnosis and mental health counseling programs. These programs ought to treat the mental health condition that leads to addiction.

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center for Tyler and East Texas

Renewal Lodge is an in-patient rehab serving Tyler, TX. We personalize care for each patient and provide programs such as:

Mindfulness in Recovery Treatment

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

Emotional Intelligence Training

Focusing on emotional intelligence in recovery helps clients reshape almost every aspect of their lives.

The Family Program

This program gives families knowledge and support regarding addiction and recovery. It also initiates healing.


We create an individualized outpatient treatment plan for each client so they continue to be supported.

Our beautiful campus in Elgin, Texas is just outside of Austin, TX. We’re just 3 and a half hours away from Tyler.

We empower our patients to find victory 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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