During the annual Las Vegas Sun Youth Forum, which was held in the Las Vegas Convention Center on December 4, 2016, a large group of high school students expressed major concern for the future of Las Vegas, claiming that there is a huge demand for more resources to fight drug abuse and sex trafficking.
For over half a century, the Forum, which was founded in 1956 by Las Vegas Sun publisher Hank Greenspan, has been an arena for teenagers to get together and discuss public issues. What started as a small forum comprised of less than 100 students from five high schools, has evolved to a major venue that holds over 1000 students from 52 high schools.
The topic of drug abuse came up during the Forum because the state of Nevada is the fourth leading state for drug overdose mortality rates. Although Las Vegas is a bright-lit city, it harbors a dark side. Besides lenient alcohol laws, there is easy access to drugs. And the drug epidemic not only affects residents, but often tourists head over to Vegas to party and to score “white powder.”
After doing an online search of Drugs and Vegas, I found two forums, which included tourists asking where they could score cocaine and other illegal substances once they landed in Sin City.
And let’s face it.
Besides a heavy onslaught of tourists, there are a lot of residents in Las Vegas. And the city’s population is increasing on an annual basis.
State demographer Jeff Hardcastle predicted that by the year 2019, the number of people living in Las Vegas would be about 2.2 million.
Dense populations often suffer from high addiction rates and crime. So its no surprise that Las Vegas made it to ninth place on Forbes’ 2016 America’s Most Dangerous Cities list.
But what drugs are the worst offenders in Vegas?
According to a 2015 report compiled by the Attorney General’s Nevada Substance Abuse Working Group’s (SAWG), an organization that studies matters associated to substance abuse in Nevada, one of the biggest problems facing the state, as well as the rest of the country, is controlled prescription drug abuse which includes opiate painkillers like OxyContin and Hydrocodone.
Recently, a Clark County coroner reported that the main cause of accidental fatalities in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas as the county seat, is from drug overdoses, not motor vehicle accidents. These deaths include individuals between the ages of 35 and 60 years of age. According to the report, senior citizens, ages 60 years and older, were taking about eight prescription drugs on a daily basis. The top five prescription drugs that were involved were oxycodone, alprazolam, hydrocodone, morphine and methadone.
While addicts are sometimes prescribed methadone to wean off heroin, sometimes they end up addicted on methadone, instead of getting proper treatment to obtain permanent sobriety.
And for adolescent addicts who are hooked on opiate painkillers, there’s an equally grim future.
Many teen addicts move onto dope because it’s a cheap substitute. In 2008 and 2009, Nevada police uncovered two drug operations where heroin dealers were targeting private schools and offering heroin samples to students.
On the song, I Want It All, by the rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury poignantly sings, “Here’s to the future, hear the cry of youth.”
Well, the youth at the Las Vegas Sun Youth Forum did shout out.
During the Forum, the high school students asserted that drug issues in their city should be treated from a rehabilitative approach as opposed to a disciplinary method.
The youngsters have acknowledged their awareness of the drug epidemic that is rampant in Las Vegas. And they spoke from their hearts. Being surrounded by drugs and alcohol is terrifying and threatens their own futures.
The truth is that Las Vegas suffers from a serious drug epidemic, and needs help.
And that help comes in the form of comprehensive treatment that addresses chemical dependency, and co-occurring disorders.
At Cycles of Change, our Las Vegas satellite facility is easily available to assist clients who are looking for drug and/or alcohol treatment. Men and women receive comprehensive assessments with a licensed professional who helps them determine the appropriate treatment protocol. After a comprehensive evaluation, clients begin the journey to recovery. Transportation to our beautiful facilities in Palmdale, California is provided.
But why go out of state to get treatment?
Because detachment from a familiar landscape that one associates with his or her drug addiction is a healthy decision. And at our gorgeous gender-specific facilities in Palmdale, clients can focus on their recovery, without any distractions.
At our lovely rehabs, clients are provided serene and luxurious surroundings, caring and professional counselors, and compassionate staff. We provide clients with the tools required for permanent sobriety. Residents learn to receive and provide peer support. As a group, they are transported to local 12-step meetings, where they meet other fellow addicts and alcoholics in recovery.
While doing their step work, residents learn to connect with a Higher Power of their understanding. This Higher Power provides them with the ability to look at life with a different set of lenses.
And during therapy, they learn to deal with co-occurring disorders like depression and anxiety.
While there are so many drugs and alcohol rampant in the city of Vegas, the truth is a client can maintain their recovery, by receiving the proper treatment and care, and following up with aftercare and a recovery support protocol. After the completion of a 30 to 90 day individualized treatment protocol, Cycles of Change offers aftercare. Once a client enters Cycles of Change, they will forever be part of a new family. They learn that sobriety is precious, and that there are others, just like them, who are walking down the same path.
Should you live in Las Vegas, and suffer from alcoholism and/or drug addiction and don’t know where to turn, you have come to the right place.
We are here to help and look forward to hearing from you.
You are not alone.