Austin Drug Abuse
Travis County, home to the city of Austin, experienced over 2,500 people being admitted for substance abuse treatment in 2002. Of those admitted, the nearly half were admitted for alcohol abuse, and the other half was admitted for other types of drugs. For every drug except those classified as “downers” and “other opiates” males dominated the population. Interestingly enough, more than 75% of patients were not married and had were not employed.
While most of the residents in Austin do not abuse drugs, there are still a large number of people who do abuse them, as shown above. However, the statistics above only include those admitted for treatment and does not fully paint the picture of drug abuse in Austin. Taking a look at the number of substance-related arrests, for example, one can see another side of the drug world. In 2004, there were 3,681 drug possession arrests and 412 drug trafficking arrests. This includes all illegal hard drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and club drugs (ecstasy).
Unfortunately, heroin is common on the streets on Austin. In 2002, for instance, the number of people admitted for marijuana abuse was only 2/3 that of the number of people admitted for heroin. The May 2007 edition of the Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse released by the Office of National Drug Control Policy stated about heroin:
In Austin, shooting galleries in the Montopolis area are reported to have disappeared as long-term users have either died, are in prison or have moved out of the area to avoid harassment from the police. Despite this, heroin is plentiful in the Montopolis area and three to four balloons of good quality heroin sell for $25 or less. Additional intelligence indicates that both black tar and Mexican brown heroin sell for $1,400 $1,600/ounce in Austin.
While heroin is mostly injected into the body through needles, in the past year there has been an increase in the amount of heroin that is being snorted in powder form. The younger demographic is the cause of the snorting because they think they will not become addicted, but this a false belief and they eventually end up abusing the drug.