Fighting the Heroin Epidemic in Las Vegas and Throughout Clark County

Clark County has a heroin problem. Law enforcement personnel and substance abuse experts have noted an increase in the number of people, especially older adolescents and young adults, who are abusing heroin in Clark County. And the Clark County coroner’s office has documented a dramatic rise in heroin-related deaths over the past few years.

The Scope of the Problem

In 2011, 32 people in Clark County died after overdosing on heroin. Every year for the next four years, the county’s annual heroin-related death rate rose. By 2015, when 76 Clark County deaths were attributed to heroin, the rate at which individuals in Clark County were dying due to heroin had increased by more than 100%. Data from the first few months of 2016 suggests that Clark County’s heroin-related death rate will continue to be disturbingly high this year, as well.

In addition to the increase in heroin-related deaths, experts in Clark County are also concerned by the number of young people who are abusing this dangerous opioid. In February 2016, an article on the website of Las Vegas CBS News 8 reported that heroin use among individuals ages 18 to 25 has doubled in recent years. The CBS report also noted that more and more women have been abusing heroin.

The Dangers of Heroin Abuse

As the statistics cited earlier in this article indicate, the most obvious danger of heroin abuse is that this behavior can be fatal. Regardless of whether a person is abusing heroin for the first time or is a long-time user of this drug, every time an individual ingests heroin, he or she risks death.

However, death is far from the only danger that is associated with heroin use. The drug is an extremely addictive opioid, which means that people who abuse it can quickly become dependent upon it, and will suffer powerful cravings and distressing withdrawal symptoms if they do not acquire and use the drug on a regular basis.

Heroin addiction is also accompanied by tolerance, which means that people will need to ingest greater or more potent doses of the drug in order to stave off withdrawal and experience the desired high. The powerful effects of heroin, combined with the extreme pain of withdrawal, can make it virtually impossible for a person to end his or her abuse of this drug without professional treatment.

Getting Help for Heroin Addiction

Reversing the rising rates of heroin abuse and addiction in Clark County will depend upon several factors, including increased awareness of the problem and greater access to treatment.

To help keep adolescents and young adults safe, parents should pay close attention to the signs and symptoms of heroin abuse, and should not hesitate to act if they suspect that their son or daughter has been abusing or has become addicted to heroin.

Parents who discover that their child or another family member has become trapped in this life-threatening behavior will next want to educate themselves about how to help a loved one get into treatment.

Though it sounds odd to say the words “good news” and “heroin addiction” in the same sentence, the news about this disorder is not all bad. With effective professional care, which is available right here in Clark County, individuals whose lives have become threatened by their dependence upon heroin can learn to overcome their self-destructive urges and can once again live healthier and more productive lives.

Ending the heroin epidemic in Clark County can only occur one person at a time. If you or someone you care about has been impacted by heroin abuse or addiction, take the steps that you need today in order to achieve a more promising tomorrow.

I was at first reluctant to get treatment for my son's addiction here. Now, I have no doubt in my mind that Seven Hills was the best decision I've ever made. My son is now three years sober thanks to Seven Hills!

– Jill S.