Las Vegas, notoriously nicknamed “Sin City”, is synonymous with clubbing, all-night parties, extended gambling, and questionable behavior choices. Every year, millions of people from across the world come to Las Vegas to splurge on parties, conventions, or spend an anonymous weekend get-away doing things that push the limits of what we should to our bodies. When it comes to drug and alcohol use, too much can happen accidentally because of this party mentality.
Naturally, the lively atmosphere of glitz and glam can excite visitors tempting them to overindulge in alcohol, pharma drugs, and much more. For many first-time drug users, it all starts with an innocent curiosity that can quickly lead to excessive consumption.
The alarming data is indicative of the situation. In Nevada, opioid deaths are declining but the numbers are still startling.
- Deaths involving prescription opioids declined from 276 in 2017 to 235 in 2018 since national attention has created more awareness.
- Heroin-involved deaths and those involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (mainly fentanyl and fentanyl) are also concerning.(NIH, 2020)
Drug experimentation and usage remains a health hazard for everyone who indulges while having a good time.
Some New Causes of Overdose in Las Vegas
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Also known as meth, blue, ice, and crystal, among many other terms, it takes the form of a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol. (NIH, 2020)
While many cities are fighting the growing opioid epidemic, Las Vegas faces increased use of methamphetamines. Psychostimulants, a classification of drugs that include methamphetamines, ecstasy, and ADHD prescriptions have caused more overdoses each year.
New Vocabulary Words – What Are Pharm Parties?
In recent years, prescription drug use has escalated so much that it currently ranks second only to marijuana use among young adults. The combination of increased accessibility of prescription drugs, the misconception that prescription drugs are safer than other drugs, and the social acceptability of using prescription drugs have created the perfect storm for prescription drug misuse and abuse.
Is Marijuana Legal in Las Vegas?
Yes, marijuana is legal in Las Vegas but with limitations. It is legal in Nevada to possess up to 1 oz. of marijuana. However, using the drug in public is still a misdemeanor. In Las Vegas, pot use is legal in licensed social use venues. Only adults aged 21 and older may possess pot for personal use unless they have a valid medical marijuana card. Possessing more than 1 oz. of pot is still a felony under Las Vegas law. (Shouse Law Group, 2020)
Alcohol + Gambling = Addiction
Many people have overindulged at some point in their lives, but in Las Vegas, excessive consumption of alcohol may coexist with other addictions like gambling. A lot of people drink every time they gamble. After a while, they need a drink every time they bet. It is a dangerous cycle of one bad habit feeding another.
Heavy drinking results in hangovers—periods of nausea, headaches, and sensitivity to light and noise. However, binge drinking (consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short time) can lead to alcohol overdose, also known as alcohol poisoning. It is a severe and life-threatening condition. An estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women5) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death. (CDC 2015)
Often, a person displaying alcohol poisoning symptoms can go unnoticed or perceived as harmless when drinking in a group. It is the worst kind of peer pressure.
Alcohol Poisoning and Drug Overdose
The danger of alcohol poisoning is compounded by the fact that those most at-risk for alcohol poisoning are young, inexperienced drinkers. Without medical care and supervision, alcohol poisoning may cause permanent brain damage and even death.
If you or somebody you know has difficulty not drinking to excess or has repeatedly shown signs of alcohol poisoning, it may be a sign of alcohol use disorder (AUD), also known as alcohol addiction or alcoholism.
Medical attention for alcohol or drug overdose depends on the substance involved in the overdose. If you suspect an overdose, call 911 for medical help. While waiting for medical attention to arrive, you can:
- Reassure the patient and make them feel comfortable. Stay vigilant until help arrives.
- Try finding details about the substance the person took and how much.
- Keep the person from taking any more of the substance.
- If the person is unconscious, check their breathing and pulse. Start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), if necessary, and continue until help arrives.
- If CPR is not required, try to lay the person on their side to prevent choking resulting from vomiting.
When Partying Leads to Medical Emergencies
Elite Medical Center intentionally opened the Las Vegas Strip location to be in the middle of the good times. No one plans to have a medical emergency while on vacation or enjoying a night on the town, but it happens. We can treat common medical emergencies as well as the result of having “one too many”. Whatever the medical emergency, we are here for you Las Vegas. Open 24/7, 365 days of the year, we are like a good friend who never leaves your side – no matter what.
“Nevada: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms.” Drugabuse.gov, 1 May 2020,
Juergens, Jeffrey. “Las Vegas, Nevada – Find Rehab For Drugs And Alcohol – Addiction Center.” Addiction Center. N.p., 18 June 2020. https://www.addictioncenter.com/rehabs/nevada/las-vegas
Villa, Lauren. “Things to Know About the Risks of Party Culture.” Project Know. 06 Nov. 2019. https://www.projectknow.com/drug-addiction/party-culture
“Alcohol Poisoning Deaths.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 06 Jan. 2015. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/alcohol-poisoning-deaths/index.html
“Possession” Of Marijuana in Nevada: When Is It Legal (And Illegal)?” Shouse Law Group. Las Vegas Defense Group, 18 July 2020. https://www.shouselaw.com/nv/defense/laws/marijuana/possession
“What Is Methamphetamine?” National Institute on Drug Abuse. 03 June 2020. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-methamphetamine
“How to Identify Common Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms – VJRC Las Vegas.” Vance Johnson Recovery Center. 29 Apr. 2020. https://www.vancejohnsonrecoverycenter.com/how-to-identify-common-alcohol-poisoning-symptoms