Drug & Alcohol Statistics for Waco, TX

How Has Substance Abuse Impacted Waco, TX?

Drug & Alcohol Statistics for Waco

The impact of substance abuse reverberates through communities and families across the United States. Our local community in Waco is a prime example of its detrimental impact. In this article, we’ll explore the Drug & Alcohol Statistics for Waco TX.

It’s concerning that Texas is among the states with the highest rates of adult illicit drug problems. Waco plays a big role in contributing to this substance abuse problem.

Drug Abuse in Waco and McLennan County

Addressing the pressing issue of drug abuse in the Waco and McLennan County area is crucial for the well-being of our community. The top five drug treats in the Waco and McLennan County area are:

One particular point of concern is the escalating threat of heroin. Despite methamphetamine currently holding the top spot, the growing abuse of heroin in the Waco area is getting larger and larger. The accessibility and affordability of this dangerous substance have contributed to its increased abuse. 

Drug Trafficking in Waco, TX

In recent years, Waco has emerged in the news as a prime drug trafficking location in Texas. This is due to its proximity to the Mexican drug cartels. They have become the dominant transporters of drugs into Texas. They also control the wholesale, mid level, and retail distribution of contraband in the state. 

Constant border activity serves as a convenient cover for nefarious drug trafficking operations. Interstate 35 spans along the US-Mexico border, passes through Waco, and runs all the way to the US-Canada border. This route not only expedites the transit of contraband through Waco but also serves as a conduit for the transportation of contraband across the entire nation.

Drug & Alcohol Statistics for Waco TX

Alcohol Abuse in Waco And McLennan County

Unearthing the concerning reality of alcohol abuse within Waco and McLennan County reveals a critical concern that demands attention. 

When examining the prevalence of heavy drinking, we find that both genders are affected. In McLennan County, 8.3% of males and 4.6% of females engage in heavy drinking. These numbers surpass both the state and national averages. The problem is only getting worse. Within a recent 7 year period, heavy drinking for men increased by 8.4%. Heavy drinking for women saw a significant spike of 36%.

Binge drinking reveals yet more troubling news. Studies have found that 22.8% of males and 10% of females indulge in binge drinking. Yet again, these statistics exceed both Texas and national averages. It’s been discovered that 16% of McLennan County residents struggle with frequent mental distress. This highlights the interconnectedness of alcohol abuse and mental health.

Youth Substance Use Trends in Texas

The 2018 Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use reveals that over half (52%) of middle and high school students in Texas have tried alcohol at least once. Furthermore, nearly a third (29%) report having consumed alcohol in the previous month. This prevalence is higher in Texas compared to the national average; while about 30% of high school seniors across the United States reported drinking alcohol in the past month according to the 2018 Monitoring the Future study, this figure rises to 47% among Texas high school seniors.

Substance Use in Schools and Universities

Educational institutions in Waco, such as Baylor University, have recognized the serious impact of substance use disorders on students. To combat this, Baylor University established the Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center. This facility is dedicated to aiding students struggling with substance use disorders, helping them regain control and overcome addiction. This initiative, backed by university research, is a proactive step in addressing and mitigating the challenges posed by substance abuse in educational settings​.

Overdose Rates in Texas

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates a significant rise of approximately 32% in overdose fatalities in Texas between 2019 and 2020. This increase surpasses the national rate, which stands at 29% for the United States overall. The preliminary figures for 2020 suggest that an estimated 4,192 individuals in Texas succumbed to drug overdoses, with a large portion of these deaths attributed to the use of opioids or synthetic opioids.

Persistent Mental Distress in Waco

In 2020, approximately 18.3% of adults in Waco reported experiencing frequent mental distress, a figure that surpasses the average of 15% reported across various cities included in the City Health Dashboard’s analysis.

Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center for Waco

Renewal Lodge, situated near Waco, Texas, is an inpatient rehabilitation center dedicated to aiding individuals in their journey to overcome addiction. Our treatment philosophy encompasses various innovative approaches:

Mindfulness in Recovery Treatment

This unique approach involves using mindfulness techniques to promote brain healing and the development of healthy neural pathways, aiding in recovery and relapse prevention.

Emotional Intelligence Training

This training is integral to recovery, as it empowers clients to better understand and manage their emotions, enhancing personal growth and resilience in various life areas.

The Family Program

Recognizing the impact of addiction on family dynamics, this program is designed to educate and involve families in the recovery process, fostering a supportive environment for the patient.


Understanding that recovery is an ongoing process, Renewal Lodge provides tailored aftercare plans to ensure continued support and guidance post-treatment.

Located in Elgin, Texas, our center is strategically positioned to be accessible for those in Waco while providing a tranquil environment away from potential stressors. Our location strikes a balance between enabling family involvement and offering a peaceful retreat for focused recovery. Renewal Lodge invites individuals seeking a path to recovery to reach out and embark on their journey toward healing and freedom from addiction.

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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