Tempting Fate? Vegas to Host Recovery Convention

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What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?

Despite the fact that Sin City is notorious for its tales of debauchery and drug-fueled excess, hundreds of recovering addicts will be descending on Las Vegas later this month. What’s the occasion, you ask? Well, it’s a convention for recovering addicts to share their stories and celebrate the sober life.

Rolling the Dice?

In a peculiar choice of location, the 31st Annual Cocaine Anonymous World Service will take place in Las Vegas during the week of May 21.

But while this seems like a decision made for one-liners on late night talk shows, the Cocaine Anonymous organization made it clear that the location was a conscious choice.

They want to show how well their 12-Step program works by putting participants in what would appear to be a potentially triggering environment. The goal is to prove they’re easily capable of handling the situation without relapsing.

However, the convention won’t exactly be taking place on the world-famous Vegas strip.

The CA website details a wide range of recreational outings scheduled for the five-day event, including golf, hiking, Hoover Dam tours and lots of meetings and support groups. It’s the best of Vegas without drugs or alcohol.

Staying Sober and Busy

Some people believe that the location choice is playing with fire, though.

ShareCare reported that Vegas ranks as the eighth-worst American city for alcohol abuse among men. For some, this “test” could prove to be a serious problem – especially when you consider that drinking alcohol is often a gateway drug.

The question here is whether or not Vegas really poses a serious threat to sobriety. And, according to statistics, the answer seems to be no.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse by City

When it comes to alcohol abuse, Tennessee takes top billing among American location. Knoxville is the worst city for alcohol abuse among men and Memphis is the worst among men, while Nashville is ranked No. 10 for worst alcohol abuse among men.

Other cities that rank in the Top 10 for both genders include:

  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Greenville, S.C.
  • Louisville, KY
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Cincinnati, OH

Vermont has seen a 250 percent increase in treatment for heroin addiction since 2000 and a stunning 770 percent increase in treatment for opiate addiction.

When it comes to drugs, the cities most plagued by drug abuse – specifically heroin – are even more surprising. According to an article in UBM’s Future Cities, the tiny New England city of Rutland, VT, is the heroin capital of the U.S. In fact, Vermont has seen a 250 percent increase in treatment for heroin addiction since 2000 and a stunning 770 percent increase in treatment for opiate addiction during that same period.

The other four U.S. cities most plagued by heroin abuse include:

  • Charleston, WV
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Baltimore, MD

Despite the pervasiveness of drug and alcohol use in a particular city, it’s a safe bet that they also have recovery resources available for people who need help.

Regardless of where your travels may take you, you’re never alone.

Additional Reading: Careers that Endanger Sobriety: Did Your Job Make the List?

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