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Las Vegas treatment centers see a spike in substance abuse going into new year

Cigarette, alcohol tax hike proposed would help pay for substance abuse programs in Nevada
Posted at 9:19 AM, Jan 03, 2022

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The number of people struggling with substance abuse has spiked in the Las Vegas valley.

Just a few days into the new year, recovery centers in Las Vegas say they are seeing a significant increase in the number of people seeking treatment.

John Joseph is currently in recovery, and he has been sober for nearly 25 years. He says the first couple of days into the new year are the hardest for those who struggle with addiction, but if you take time to create actionable goals, you can save yourself from dropping into a downward spiral.

Joseph says the time during and after the holidays is especially difficult for people who struggle with substance abuse.

It can be easy to feel alone, empty and desperate for a drink or a drug — but he believes the new year is a good time to set new goals and make a change. The first step should be reaching out for help.

“You can just say, 'I’m going to stop, I’m going to quit, I can do this,' but you don’t know anything about the coping skills, you don’t know anything about the trauma that underlies, you don’t know why you’re drinking or why you are doing those things to yourself and the lifelong recovery that is needed,” Joseph said.

He works to help others as a treatment therapist at Nestled Recovery Center, alongside executive and clinical director Gemma Andaya.

Andaya says currently her facility is seeing a significant increase in the number of patients. She says the holidays are already tough for many. Add a pandemic and substance abuse disorders into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster.

“We are also in the midst of an opioid epidemic here in the United States and, in fact, I just read a statistic that states that fentanyl is killing more young adults in that 18-to-24 range than COVID is,” Andaya said.

Health experts recommend these six New Year’s resolutions for people in recovery:

1. Write in a journal for at least 15 minutes a day
2. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day
3. Learn a new sober hobby
4. Schedule quality time with friends and family at least once per week
5. Ask for help when needed
6. Celebrate your success and don’t be critical of your failures

Both Joseph and Andaya urge anyone who is struggling with addiction or substance abuse to reach out if they need help.

For more information about Nestled Recovery Center’s services, click here.