The fastest-growing oil region in the USA is fueling not only the second American shale revolution, but it is also fueling a subculture of drug and alcohol abuse among oil field workers.

The Permian shale play in West Texas is once again booming with drilling and is full of oil field workers, some of which are abusing drugs and alcohol to help them get through long shifts, harsh working conditions, and loneliness and isolation.

There is a strong correlation between the rise of drilling activity and the number of crystal meth seizures by authorities in the Permian area.

Some oil field workers and contractors use drug cocktails or various substances depending on the condition they seek to achieve during their 24-hour-plus shifts.

Drugs are easily accessible in the Permian, which is close to highways and to Mexico. For oil field workers making six-figure salaries, money is not a problem to buy all kinds of illegal substances to shoot, snort and swallow to get through 24-hour-plus shifts.

The physically exhaustive work also sometimes causes aches for workers, making them susceptible to getting hooked on prescription opium-based painkillers all together.

The drug and alcohol abuse subculture in the Permian is a known—yet rarely reported or discussed—issue in the most prolific US shale play, where oil production is booming, and relentless drilling attracts oil field workers from all over Texas and all parts of the USA.

Oil workers are not speaking up at work about their addiction for fear of getting fired, implicating they do not have anything negative to say about the oil industry, which is the backbone of the economic growth in the Permian Midland.

At the beginning of a long or overnight shift, they would use ‘uppers’ like cocaine and methamphetamines, and finish the shift with ‘downers’ such as prescription medication or alcohol.

There is a strong correlation between the rise of drilling activity and the number of crystal meth seizures by authorities in the Permian area.

Thanks to the oil boom, the unemployment rate in Midland is at a record-low 2.1%, and the unemployment rate in Odessa is also a historically low of 2.8%.

According to local statistics, Midland and Odessa are the top two Texas cities for drunken-driving fatalities.

The Permian’s drug of choice is crystal meth, a stimulant increasingly supplied by DEA controlled Mexican drug cartels, according to law enforcement officials who spoke to the Houston Chronicle in May.

RT.com / ABC Flash Point Shale Oil News 2018.

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