Drug Abuse in Las Vegas Fueling Violence on the Strip
Las Vegas is a pop-culture icon and the subject of dozens of songs, hit movies, and TV shows. Vega is primarily known as the place to go when you want to kick back.
Most of the fun in Sin City is found along the Las Vegas Strip. This 4-mile stretch is a condensed area full of hotels, resorts, casinos, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
According to Sheriff Joe Lombardo, the amount of violence on the Strip has risen 4% over the last year, while crime is always fairly high. There’s a lot of frustration surrounding closed venues, canceled shows, and ever-changing guidelines. Is this the source of the violence on the Strip?
Today, we’ll look closely at drug abuse in Las Vegas, and if it is the root cause of the violence on the Strip.
Visiting Las Vegas
Here are just a few things you can do in Las Vegas:
- Enjoy a dazzling magic show
- Laugh until your sides hurt at a comedy show
- Sit on the edge of your seat watching a daring performance
- Bet it all at the poker table
- Take in the fountain show at the Bellagio
- Ride the coaster at New York-New York
- Enjoy dinner in the Top of the World Restaurant in the Stratosphere Tower
- Get married just about anywhere
Visiting Las Vegas During the Pandemic
Of course, 2020 and the worldwide coronavirus pandemic has put a huge damper on all that Las Vegas has to offer.
Tourists and residents alike have been impacted by Nevada’s COVID restrictions, and many people worry that the tourism industry will never bounce back.
The state’s rules require that all venues operate within strict guidelines if they wish to remain open.
Hotels were allowed to reopen in September, but they are only allowed to maintain a 25% occupancy rate.
Entertainment fixtures are few and far between as social distancing and other CDC guidelines are hard to enforce. Longtime Las Vegas staple Cirque du Soleil even filed for bankruptcy.
Casino floors have been rearranged to accommodate the regulations for social distancing and there are limits to how many people can play at once. For example, at the Cosmopolitan, only 3 players are allowed at a table and the casino does not allow onlookers.
Restaurants and bars require reservations and are operating at 25% capacity. Only four guests are allowed at a table.
The Graceland Wedding Chapel requires temperature checks and masks for all weddings, and they now offer virtual nuptials, too.
The entire Las Vegas experience has been transformed by the pandemic, leaving many people with feelings of frustration. Local law enforcement believes that this ties directly into the increasing violence and crime on the Strip.
Crime on the Strip
Las Vegas experiences its fair share of crime as with any large city.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reports that in the area of the city where the Strip is located, the rate of violent crime is up. Aggravated assaults alone have increased by nearly 30% over last year.
The increase in aggravated assaults has triggered an increase in violent weapons crime as well. There have been dozens of shootings on the Strip since September.
Captain Dori Koren of the LVMPD shares that the majority of the violence on the strip is being carried out by people who aren’t from Nevada. The department also reports that many of the crimes are being traced back to members of gangs who are from out of state.
Governor Steve Sisolak is disappointed that so much of the trouble is stemming from tourists, but he trusts in local law enforcement to get a handle on the issue.
Fueling the Fire
Much of the crime on the Las Vegas Strip can be blamed on drugs and alcohol, in addition to gangs and pent up frustration.
When people mix the desire to have a great time with alcohol or drugs, things typically don’t end well.
Drug abuse in Las Vegas tends to go hand-in-hand with violent crime. The same applies to alcohol abuse in Las Vegas. People under the influence of drugs are far more likely to carry out a violent crime than sober individuals. Data from the Bureau of Justice shows that over half a million crimes are linked to substance abuse each year.
Research from the journal Psychology of Violence shows that being under the influence not only makes someone more likely to be the perpetrator of a crime, but it also makes someone almost as likely to be the victim of a crime.
Combining substance abuse, closed venues, hot tempers, and frustration in the condensed area of the Las Vegas Strip is almost a powder keg for violence.
Treatment For Drug Abuse in Las Vegas
If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol abuse or substance abuse, you don’t have to fight the battle alone.
Here at Landmark Recovery of Las Vegas, our staff has the tools, skills, and knowledge you need to beat your addictions and enjoy a healthy recovery.
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We're here 24/7 to help you get the care you need to live life on your terms, without drugs or alcohol. Talk to our recovery specialists today and learn about our integrated treatment programs.