MIDLAND-ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The alarming statistics regarding drug and alcohol substance abuse in our West Texas communities is something to be aware of, especially as many high schools are participating in Red Ribbon Week.
Local hospitals, clinics, inpatient outpatient facilities hospitalizations and much more all play a factor into the numbers.
In Midland alone last year there were 284 alcohol-related car crashes.
Ector County was even higher with 317 and these numbers have only gone up.
"It seems that people are getting more comfortable getting behind the wheel," Kevin Thompson, regional evaluator at the Resource Prevention Center said. "Which is that children seem to think it is still permissible in some instances to drink, especially among in the later high school youth."
According to the data, methamphetamine is a major issue in the area in adolescents and adult.
An over-prescription epidemic has become an issue as well.
"It's not really about one particular drug," Thompson said. "It's that all of these things need to have prevention messages attached to them because all of them are being overused and used in the wrong way."
But still, alcohol proved to be the number one problem so the resource center is trying to pass a social host ordinance in Ector County.
This will help prevent underage drinking, even under parent's supervision.
"It allows for law enforcement to have more resources at their disposal. To have a solid institution that says we cannot allow you to have this house party because a lot of law enforcement are stuck right now in the legal gray area," Thompson said.
The local Prevention Resource Center works closely with law enforcement day in and day out with data and statistics to help a problem that's existed for years, even decades.