Reno Drug Abuse and Addiction
Reno is a city located on the Northern side of Nevada. It has a population estimate of 245,255 people and a median household income of $46,489. Its unemployment rate is 6.10% with a job growth of 3.41%. It is popular for having some of the best casinos and skiing resorts. Its roadways, railways and airports are some of the things that make it an easy target for drug traffickers and sellers.
The booming casinos associated with gambling are also some of the things that contribute to its rising drug abuse and addiction rates. It is worth pointing out that this city is part of Nevada which is ranked among the top 10 states abusing drugs and alcohol. It is number 3 when it comes to the states with the highest percentage of residents with illegal substance dependence.
Most Commonly Abused Substances in Reno
Alcohol can go by a number of street names including hooch, hard stuff, brewskis, booze, suds, cold one and juice. It is legally available for individuals that have attained the age of 21 but is prohibited for people below this age. While taking a little alcohol may not be harmful going overboord can lead to a number of short term negative effects such as blacking out, nausea, headaches, vomiting, impaired judgement and slowed reaction time. Some long term effects are listed below.
- May lead to ulcers
- Can trigger development of various cancers
- Damages the kidneys and liver
- May cause dependence and addiction
- Can weaken the immune system
- May lead to breaking up of the family unit
- Causes antisocial behavior such as stealing and lying
This is a substance that is made from the dried leaves, flowers and stems of the cannabis plant. Most people take it by way of smoking. However, there are individuals that enjoy taking it after brewing as tea or mixing in foodstuff such as cookies. The use of marijuana for recreational purposes was legalized in 2017 in the state of Nevada. Despite this development individuals are advised to take note of the following negative effects.
- Causes a sharp decline in intelligence quotient
- Lowers chances of getting hired
- Leads to financial difficulties
- May become addictive
- Causes unbecoming behaviors such as aggression, stealing and lying
- Increases chances of getting infectious conditions
- Strains social and professional relations
- May damage internal body organs such as the lungs and brain
Popularly known as meth, this substance is wrongfully used as a recreational drug. It is a central nervous stimulant that may go by a number of street names including Christina, crank, speed, fast, uppers, tweek and chalk. Individuals that take it tend to get feelings of euphoria and heightened energy levels that make them stay alert for longer hours. Some of its negative effects are listed below.
- Delusions of power
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Increased aggression or irritability
- Dependence and addiction
- Damage to internal organs
- Death due to overdose and poisoning
Prescription medications, cocaine and heroin are also among some of the most commonly abused substances in this region. Individuals that take these substances may have to deal with consequences such as dependence, addiction, hallucinations, depression, damage to internal organs, extreme anxiety and death.
Why Residents of Reno Use Mind Altering Chemicals
A look at some of the reasons why people use substance can help in dealing with the problem before it starts.
Boredom – when human beings stay for prolonged hours with nothing to do they tend to become bored. This gives room for them to contemplate the use of substance and even go ahead to do it. To avoid such situations individuals are encouraged to develop hobbies that can be undertaken either indoors or outdoors.
Family feuds – when family members are engaged in prolonged disputes such as inheritance problems or divorce the pressure and stress they are subjected to can be overwhelming. This may push them to substance abuse in the hope of finding some short term relief. People in such situations are advised to look for alternatives in dealing with stress because substance abuse only adds to their problems.
Financial difficulty – when people are facing difficult financial times they may seek solutions from just about any quarter. Unfortunately a significant number start drinking alcohol or doing drugs as a way of escaping the reality of the issues they are faced with. Talking to a confidante or financial expert an be better ways to come up with solutions instead of taking to substance abuse.
Trauma – some experiences tend to leave people emotionally and psychologically scarred. Issues such as a bad breakups, divorce, accidents, rape and other forms of physical abuse are quite devastating. A large number of people that go through such situations end up abusing substance as a way of repressing their painful memories. Instead of drug abuse such people should seek professional counseling and family support as a way of dealing with their internal scars.
Peer pressure – when young people hang out as a group there are certain things that happen due to group mentality. Substance abuse is one of the most common occurrences when it comes to group activities. The fear of being despised or branded an outcast can make just about any teenager succumb to the pressure of drug use. Proper parenting, guidance and counselling are key to guarding teenagers from substance abuse.
Dealing with pain – the abuse of prescription medication does not always start with ill motives. In a number of cases doctors prescribe these drugs for individuals that are dealing with painful ailments. The problem is that after a while of use some people end up misusing these drugs because of the euphoric effects they produce. Individuals should only use such drugs when directed by a qualified doctor. Use should be done according to instructions and in case of any misunderstanding the situation should be reported to a health official as soon as possible.
Recreation – while it is fine to use alcohol and other substances for recreational purposes all individuals must ensure that the products they are consuming are legally acceptable. They should also limit use to recommended amounts. Drinking too much alcohol, taking prescription drugs or illicit substances for recreational purposes is a dangerous trend that not only causes pain to loved ones but has the potential of leading to death.
Gaining confidence – for some people public speaking or talking to a member of the opposite sex seems like a herculean task. This is why they end up taking substance to boost their self-confidence. It is important for such people to realize that even a small amount of drugs such as cocaine and heroin can become addictive which is why they should be shunned. Self-confidence is gained through practice and better understanding of oneself.
What are the risk factors associated with drug abuse?
Poverty – one of the things that make it likely for people to use and abuse substance is poverty. Keep in mind that 18.3% of the people in Reno live under the poverty line. A large number of these individuals are already hooked to street drugs and are frequently rushed to emergency rooms due to overdose or poisoning. Individuals that are poor tend to have a lot of free time which is one of the reasons why they engage in the use of substance. They are also unable to afford recreational substances such as alcohol which is another reason they opt for cheap alternatives sold on the streets.
Lack of supervision – when young people or teenagers are left alone without supervision they tend to become undisciplined. This may sometimes mean they sneak into their parents room and steal drugs or alcohol to try out. The euphoric effects they enjoy after using these substances make them do it over and over again. To prevent such occurrences it is wise to stay in close contact with teenagers and discourage any unruly behavior.
Peer users – individuals that hang around agemates using drugs are at a great risk of using drugs themselves. Being labeled a weakling, outsider or sellout can sometimes be part of the reason why individuals succumb to the pressure of using drugs. It is also true that drug users will be spending a lot of time discussing issues to do with drugs and how they usually have fun when high. These issues push non-users to start doing drugs as a way of joining in the fun.
Substance availability – it is easier for someone to get tempted into using a substance that is available than trying out something that is hard to get. If alcohol is cheap or available within the home individuals that stay in that home are likely to start using it. To prevent such occurrences it is better to keep the home free of drugs and alcohol.
Past traumatic events – research has shown that people who go through traumatic experiences are vulnerable to substance abuse. They often go overboard when it comes to substance use because they want to get rid of emotional or psychological pain. Victims of rape, domestic violence, divorce and abusive relationships are among the people that are at risk of using drugs.
Early aggressive behavior – people that are inherently aggressive are at a higher risk of using drugs when compared to those who are timid or calm in nature. The aggressive types tend to be curious and outgoing which is why they may be easily influenced into using drugs.
Gender – research shows that men are twice as likely to use substance when compared to women. The society is set in such a way that a man using drugs receives less condemnation as compared to a woman. This is part of the reason why women stay away from substance abuse.
Lack of laws – when there are no clear laws governing the use of substance it is easy for people to abuse it. It is worth pointing out that areas with a lack of law enforcement enthusiasm may also be at a greater risk of having more drug abusers.
Signs of Drug Use and Abuse
Being able to know when a loved one is using drugs or drinking alcohol may be all it takes to initiate a process that will help prevent or cure addiction. Below are some of the most common signs associated with substance use and abuse.
Secretive tendencies – people that are new to substance use tend to be secretive about their activities. They are guarded when it comes to disclosing their location or who they are hanging out with. They may also start isolating themselves from other members of the family. This is meant to avoid raising any suspicion.
Unusual smells – the use of drugs is often characterized with unusual odors that are produced from the smoke or vapor emanating from substance. This is why most users may have an unusual smell on their breath, clothes or body.
Change of friends – people that have started using substance are likely to change the group of friends they spend time with. This allows them to go on with the newly acquired habit without facing criticism. It also enables them to interact with people who have similar interests. These individuals may also change their hobbies and hangout places to make drug use easy.
Intoxication – this is one of the clearest signs of drug use. Some of the signs of intoxication include dilated pupils, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, impaired walking, slowed reaction time, confusion and blackouts.
Increased need for money – individuals that are abusing drugs tend to have a great need for more money. They may even go out of their way to lie, steal or fight over money. The problem is that regardless of how much they get they always end up spending it in an unwise manner on drugs.
Skin marks – individuals that take drugs by way of injecting into the veins usually develop marks on the skin. This may be followed by a rise of skin infections and allergic reactions.
Frequent accidents and arrests – because of their tendency to be intoxicated they end up getting involved in a lot of accidents while driving or operating machinery. They may even find themselves on the wrong side of the law because of using illegal substance or driving while under the influence.
Financial problems – people that are abusing drugs eventually lose control of their financial management skills. They spend too much money and time on substance which is why they quickly run into debts. They also lose their zeal for work and may be fired when the management realizes that they are abusing substance.
How do people become addicted to a substance?
Before users are completely addicted to substance there are certain stages that they go through. For some people this process is fast while for others it may happen over the course of a prolonged period. The amount of substance taken, the type and method of intake all play a role in how fast addiction takes place.
- The introduction phase
Before individuals use any substances they must first become aware of them. It is at this point that people come across various substances either by listening to song lyrics, watching movies with some kind of depiction of drugs or interacting with friends and relatives that are using the particular substance. Individuals get to learn about the positive or euphoric effects of the drugs which is why they become curious about learning more.
- The experimentation phase
Individuals have become quite knowledgeable about a particular substance at this point. The only thing they do not understand is how it feels to take substance. It is this curiosity that pushes them to try it out. For some people this may mean smoking marijuana, drinking a bottle or two of beer or sniffing cocaine albeit in small amounts. To some individuals this initial stage produces negative effects such as headaches, nausea, confusion and possible punishment by parents or teachers. These individuals may quit further use. However, those people who derive a pleasurable experience during experimentation are bound to try it out again in the near future.
- The regular use phase
Individuals that get to this stage develop a liking for their substance of choice in such a way that they start using it on a regular basis. For those taking alcohol use may be regulated and can take place over the weekends only. It is fairly safe for such people. However, those using drugs such as cocaine and heroin are never really safe because even taking a small amount of such potent substances can be detrimental to health.
- Problematic use phase
Individuals that keep using drugs on a regular basis eventually slip into the problematic stage. This means they start increasing the amount of drugs they take, they use the drug at inopportune places or times and go out of their way to create time for drug use. It is during this phase that most people develop a tolerance for the substance making it necessary for them to either mix substances or increase the amount of intake just so they can attain a pleasurable experience. It is also during this stage that a lot of social and professional relationships start developing friction and may break.
- The dependence phase
Soon after problem use individuals develop a dependence on the substance of choice. The body becomes too accustomed to the substance that failure to get some amount is translated to being unwell. It is because of this occurrence that individuals in this stage experience withdrawal effects as listed below.
- Muscle pain
- Abdominal pain
- Runny nose
- Cold chills
- Profuse sweating
- Drug cravings
- Full blown addiction
Because of continued use of substance individuals eventually become addicted to it. It is important to understand that addiction is a psychological condition in which individuals are compelled to use substance despite the obvious harm that it is causing to self and loved ones. There are a number of people who are battling addiction and genuinely wish to break the habit but are unable to do so. Doctors advise such individuals to seek professional help because breaking free of a addiction is not an easy thing.
Getting Help for a Drug Addict in Reno
Because most drug users are unaware of their condition it may be prudent for a close family member to take up the matter by way of intervention. This means that a loved one should reach out for help through a drug abuse hotline or visit a nearby rehabilitation center for guidance on how to approach the situation.
During interaction with a professional counselor instructions will be given on how to approach the drug user in such a way that he or she will feel loved and encouraged to pursue treatment instead of continuing down the path that could end in death. Users that agree to receive treatment are taken through a process of assessment to ascertain extent of addiction and any other physical health issues. They are then enrolled into a rehabilitation center for treatment under any of the arrangements noted below.
This type of care does not require an addiction patient to stay at the rehab center. The patient is given instructions on how to break free of their habit while continuing with normal routine. This arrangement is ideal for people that are still in control of their thoughts and actions even though addiction is starting to become problematic. Outpatient care is cheap and allows people to stay at work or continue attending classes. It also gives patients the freedom to mingle with loved ones on a regular basis.
This type of treatment has a requirement that the patient stays at the treatment center for the duration of the treatment program. It is highly recommended for individuals that have lost all self-control. It is also ideal for people that are suffering from other physical ailments or conditions that are precipitated by addiction. This type of care allows doctors to monitor patients on a 24-hour basis. It is more expensive when compared to outpatient care.
Partial hospitalization care
This refers to a program under which the patient is allowed to leave the rehabilitation center for a limited period of time. This could be a few hours in the evening or afternoon. The patient is usually allowed to leave the facility to mingle with family members and friends at home.