Is Drug Use on the Rise Among Houston Teens?

by tylercook on June 5, 2013

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For decades, drug abuse has been a problem plaguing the US.  From drug arrests swelling in the 1970s to the “Just Say No” campaigns of the 1980s, from health class in the 1990s to the harsher crackdowns of modern day, authorities have long wondered how to dam a river that flows so freely: these days, access to drugs seems commonplace.

Teenagers, in particular, appear to be a demographic prone to this: per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly half of teenagers admit experimental drug use prior to high school graduation.

Drug Use in Houston

In Houston, drug abuse continues to be a constant presence.  A large factor in this is its proximity to Mexico: due to location, Houston can’t help but be a major avenue in which to funnel narcotics. But, that doesn’t mean Houston teens do all drugs equally.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the drug use in Texas (as compared to the rest of the US) is less likely to involve heroin and meth and more likely to involve marijuana, cocaine, and prescription drugs.

Houston, You Have a Problem

When it comes to the use of prescription drugs, the real problem seems to arise: it’s not illegal drugs that are plaguing Houston’s youth; rather, it’s legal drugs being used in an illegal manner. According to, the prescription drugs most likely to be abused include Vicodin, Valium, Xanax, Ritalin, and Dexedrine. These may be used to evoke euphoria or relaxation, to help with insomnia, to help with studying, or to compound weight loss.

According to the ABC News Houston affiliate, prescription drug abuse has gained popularity among teenagers for two main reasons: they are easy to get and they are cheap.  Teenagers may find a plethora of drugs in the medicine cabinets of parents and grandparents, or they may buy them off of friends with sick family members.  Finally, some may even fake maladies as a means to receive their own script.

As a result, per ABC News, teens in Houston are dying in record numbers from prescription drug abuse.

The Consequences

As demonstrated above, the most dire consequence of drug abuse is death. Often, this may be a result of mixing drugs with other drugs (or with alcohol), but it can also be a result of using drugs without truly knowing what they contain (if bought off the street, especially, they can really contain anything). Long term drug prescription drug abuse can also shut down the body and result in a very premature death.

In addition, teens may erroneously believe that prescription drugs are “safe” because they are, in essence, “legal.”

Of course, death is not the only consequence of drugs.  Nausea, seizures, hallucinations, exposure to HIV and Hepatitis, loss of motor skills, heart arrhythmia, enlarged heart, coma, liver damage, and brain damage can all result from drug abuse.

Consequences do not stop at bodily harm: legally, any type of illicit drug use is punishable by law.  Some of these offenses may be minor, resulting in misdemeanors or citations, but others can be felonious, and come with serious jail time. Anyone who is arrested for drug use should consult with a Drug Possession Lawyer in Houston, Texas before proceeding any further.


This piece was composed by Randolph Spinner, a freelance writer based in Detroit, Michigan who focuses on legal topics of various sorts.




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