In the past year, Nevada’s drug-related death rate soared, thrusting the state into the number-one spot for deaths related to methamphetamines and other stimulants. In many states, meth is easier to obtain than drugs like heroin and cocaine—and cheaper—so while Nevada’s legislature has taken steps to combat the state’s heroin epidemic by placing new restrictions on prescription opioids, it still needs to support measures to quell the rising abuse of meth, ecstasy, and prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin. And, while law enforcement is doing its part to enforce drug laws, new fears surrounding the quality and ethical practices of some addiction rehab centers in the state underscore another challenge for drug users who are on a quest to get clean.
Drug Bust at Burning Man Festival
The Burning Man Festival is an annual late summer event that is held annually in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert— about 100 miles from the city of Reno. Last year, a New York Man was arrested for attempting to bring “1,125 grams of ecstasy, 376 grams of mushrooms, .0173 of a gram of LSD, 229 grams of cocaine and 331 grams of ketamine” to the festival so he could sell the drugs to festival participants. This past month, he was sentenced to three years in prison.
While alcohol is still the most widely used substance at festivals around the country, surveys suggest that “harder drugs like MDMA/Molly/Ecstasy (13%), hallucinogens like LSD (8%) or mushrooms (8.5%), or faster drugs like cocaine (7.3%)” are common drugs of abuse at these settings. A recent article reported that “Most music festival attendees, 63 percent, scored drugs from a random dealer they met at the festival.” This troubling statistic would seem to suggest that the New York drug dealer who showed up at the Burning Man Festival last year is emblematic of a drug problem that is endemic to these festivals.
It’s Not Just a Festival Problem
Combating drug use at outdoor festivals and events is hardly Nevada’s only drug-related problem. According to The Washington Post, high syphilis rates are linked to drug use: “Syphilis rates are setting records nationally. They jumped by 73 percent overall and 156 percent for women from 2013 to 2017. The highest rates were reported in Nevada, California, and Louisiana. The rise in STDs in association with drug use, especially drugs like meth, according to the Centers for Disease Control, illustrate that overdose is not the only health concern that drug users need to be aware of.
Substance abuse and addiction to substances like heroin, meth, cocaine, MDMA, and alcohol are linked to profoundly serious health concerns that range from mental illness to organ damage. The escalating syphilis rates underscore another major health concern among addiction sufferers: the prevalence of risk-taking behaviors. While under the influence of hard drugs, users often engage in risky behaviors like unprotected sex and needle sharing.
Rehab to the Rescue? Well, Maybe
The fact is, without quality addiction treatment, people who suffer from substance use disorders are unlikely to achieve recovery. Yet, as addiction treatment grows in demand, troubling concerns are surfacing about the quality and ethical practices associated with some addiction rehabs in Nevada and other states. “A chronicled a series of deaths and questionable business practices at a leading drug and alcohol rehab company in Las Vegas” are spotlighting a new problem that legislators have to contend with: unethical rehabs. Nevada Current also reports that some rehab “bad practices” have “rendered addicted clients, in some cases, little more than human ATMs, replenished by well-intended but exploited insurance benefits.” And while the families of some sufferers believed that these treatment centers were, indeed, providing 24/7 monitoring and care, recent deaths and other problems suggest that the level of care does not meet client expectations.
As a consequence, Nevada legislators are working on a bill to curtail unethical business practices among some addiction treatment rehabs in the state. And while Nevada continues to participate in successful programs like the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day (which recently collected 6,323 pounds of unused, unwanted, and expired prescription medications in Nevada alone), it appears that it must continue to combat its drug crisis on multiple fronts.
Fortunately, there is high-quality addiction treatment available in the country for individuals who want to achieve recovery. FHE Health, a Florida-based behavioral health, and addiction treatment center, is renowned for its high-quality care and multiple treatment options. There isn’t a single path to recovery. Some individuals do require intensive inpatient stays, but others achieve lasting sobriety through outpatient therapies designed to ward off relapse and help individuals cope with the triggers that led them to abuse alcohol or drugs in the first place.
If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs—any drugs that include illicit substances like heroin or meth or prescription drugs like fentanyl or Adderall—contact FHE Health to learn more about its comprehensive line-up of evidence-based addiction treatments. Customized care is a hallmark of the best-quality rehabs, and FHE Health provides care that is tailored to each client’s needs. Without quality treatment, recovery is elusive— but embrace treatment now, and you can discover a healthy and happy future.