Regional report highlights drug abuse problem in Abilene
ABILENE, Texas - Drug abuse remains one of the biggest problems in Taylor County, and county commissioners saw it take a financial toll on the 2018 budget with a need for more staff to accommodate a backlog of CPS drug abuse cases. The 2017 Regional Needs Assessment was released Thursday after the Region 2 Prevention Resource Center collected data from multiple agencies and non-profit organizations all year. The report featured data from the Texas Department of Public Safety which showed an increased number of methamphetamine and marijuana seizures over the past three years. Regional Evaluator Rachel Saxton said drug abuse is a vicious cycle that leads to other growing issues in Abilene. "Child abuse and suicide and really illicit drugs like methamphetamines have been, since I've been in this position over three years, the bigger topics … which is surprising to me," Saxton said. Saxton said there is an abundance of resources to combat drug addiction. This year, her office plans to advocate for a methadone treatment center. Methadone is used to treat heroin addicts by lessening withdrawal symptoms. An issue that Saxton encounters is doctors who object to prescribing methadone to heroin addicts. Region 2 Resource Center hopes the assessment will be read by city leaders and non-profits and will be used to better educate the community.