HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

More Texans Seeking Treatment for Meth Abuse

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Information packets for those seeking help with substance abuse treatment at The Council on Recovery, formerly Austin Recovery, on July 24, 2015.
Information packets for those seeking help with substance abuse treatment at The Council on Recovery, formerly Austin Recovery, on July 24, 2015.

A growing number of Texans are seeking treatment for methamphetamine addiction, reversing a downward trend in abuse in the state since a 2006 federal law banned over-the-counter sales of medicine containing pseudoephedrine.  

Sandra Bland Case Shows Deficiencies in Jail Oversight

Hempstead resident Adrienne Holland holds a sign outside of the Waller County Jail where Sandra Bland, 28, was found dead.
Hempstead resident Adrienne Holland holds a sign outside of the Waller County Jail where Sandra Bland, 28, was found dead.

Like many Texas lockups, the Waller County Jail staff had not been sufficiently trained in safeguarding suicidal or mentally ill inmates. Part of the problem is underfunding and understaffing at the state agency overseeing the disparate network of 244 local and private jails.

Texas Hopes to Attract More Mental Health Care Workers

Mental health rally at the Texas Capitol organized by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, on Feb. 28, 2013.
Mental health rally at the Texas Capitol organized by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, on Feb. 28, 2013.

A program created this year will help pay mental health professionals’ student loans if they practice in a medically needy area. The program seeks to alleviate the state’s shortage of mental health professionals, which watchdogs are calling a "public health emergency."

Few Options for Gay Couples in State Marriage Classes

The state's Twogether in Texas program grants couples a $60 discount on a marriage license if they take a premarital education class from the state's network of providers, most of which are faith-based groups. Many providers don't plan to open their classes to same-sex couples.
The state's Twogether in Texas program grants couples a $60 discount on a marriage license if they take a premarital education class from the state's network of providers, most of which are faith-based groups. Many providers don't plan to open their classes to same-sex couples.

Many of the providers in a state program that gives engaged Texans a discount on a marriage license if they take a premarital counseling course do not plan to open up the classes to same-sex couples.

Spouses of Gay Public Employees Eligible for Benefits

A couple arranges a marriage license at the Travis County Clerk's office on June 26, 2015.
A couple arranges a marriage license at the Travis County Clerk's office on June 26, 2015.

As of Wednesday, public employers including Texas agencies and universities will allow current and retired gay and lesbian employees to enroll their same-sex spouses in the same benefit programs and services available to opposite-sex couples.