CARRIZO SPRINGS, Texas -

CARRIZO SPRINGS, Texas (AP) - Drug arrests have soared in at least three counties composing the Eagle Ford Shale play in South Texas as oil and gas activity exploded in recent years.
    
The Austin American-Statesman reports that the sparsely populated counties of Dimmit, La Salle and Frio southwest of San Antonio are all wrestling with drug crimes that were few and far between before 2008.
    
Area hospitals are seeing more drug-related overdoses, injuries from vehicle accidents and drug-related violence. County sheriffs are trying to respond by upping their manpower.
    
Experts say oil field workers flush with cash are seen as opportunities to expand drug sales. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates more than 43,000 people have moved to the Eagle Ford region since the boom began in 2008.