A city once known for its yard-long cocktails and drunken pool parties is reinventing itself as a health tourism destination and a place to go when you want to leave the booze behind and embrace a life of sobriety.
Until recently, Las Vegas wasn’t on anyone’s radar as a contender for “Best Place to Go to Rehab”. But as Sin City attempts to diversify its economy, it’s begun to expand into the medical tourism industry, trading in some of its showgirl sequins and neon kitsch for yoga classes and mental health retreats. Goodbye Poker Chips, Hello Sobriety Chips? One reason for Sin City’s identity shift has been the decline of the gambling industry. Gambling in Las Vegas has been on the decrease since the recession, but even though visitor numbers are up again, revenue from gambling remains low. So low, in fact, that gaming accounts for just 37 percent of Las Vegas Strip revenues. Experts theorize that this is due to the rise in popularity of online gambling and international gaming destinations like Macau. But the new millennial generation simply isn’t as interested. Research has shown that 20 and 30-somethings prefer skill-based games over rolling the dice and would rather pay for an experience that involves social interaction. With slot revenues sliding, casinos have turned their attention towards other entertainment avenues, including upscale dining establishments, concerts and music festivals. This has opened the door for a health-conscious movement to move in, and perhaps for the first time in Southern Nevada’s history, people are coming to Vegas for the spas, organic restaurants and educational conferences.
The Arrival of the Healthy Living Trend
“It makes sense that Las Vegas would become a popular destination for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. People come to Vegas’s treatment centers to get well because they want to receive the same 5-star quality level of care they receive at the city’s luxury resorts.” – John Seeland, CEO of Las Vegas Recovery Center
The Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Bureau along with the nonprofit Las Vegas HEALS have taken strides to promote Las Vegas as a destination for medical conferences, and health conventions and wellness retreats have begun to crop up around the Las Vegas Valley, including a digital detox retreat held at The Mandarin Oriental this past September, where guests turned off their electronic devices and attended yoga classes, nutrition workshops, sound meditation and group therapy sessions. In March 2016, a survey conducted by WalletHub found Las Vegas to be the fourth fittest city in the US (Reno, Nevada, was number 2!). The cities were evaluated based on physical activity rates, obesity percentages and dietary habits. Despite Las Vegas’s reputation for reveling in excess, many of its residents are health-conscious, active outdoor enthusiasts taking advantage of Nevada’s 300+ days of sunshine and moderate winter weather to explore the legion of state and national parks within driving distance. According to National Geographic, Las Vegas is one of the top 10 best “hiking cities” in the US.
Why Las Vegas Has Become a Popular Destination for Drug and Alcohol Treatment
A “What Happens Here, Stays Here” mentality
From its beginning, Las Vegas has existed as a safe haven for those searching for somewhere they can be free and behave as they please. Las Vegas’s “What Happens Here Stays Here” tagline has been one of the most successful tourism advertising campaigns to date, in part because it’s tapped into a desire so many commonly share: The desire for acceptance and total freedom from judgment. Las Vegas Recovery Center and other health centers in Southern Nevada have adopted this same motto by working to promote a tolerant and caring atmosphere and by strictly enforcing confidentiality policies. Part of what makes Las Vegas—and Southern Nevada’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation industry—so appealing is that they facilitate an environment where people can feel comfortable being themselves.
A long history of superior customer service
For decades, Las Vegas has been a world leader in hospitality and tourism. It’s become so famous for its superior customer service that it’s attracted hospitality-minded professionals from around the country. In fact, the University of Nevada Las Vegas’s (UNLV) hospitality program is one of the highest-rated in the US. Hospitality is ingrained in the thread-work of this city—and its what sets rehabs in Las Vegas a notch above the rest.
A community of relaxed, open-minded residents
Nevada’s population is comprised of a large number of easy-going and open-minded individuals. This is according to the results of a 2009 personality and geography study, which ranked Nevada as the ninth most “open” state in the nation; meaning, a greater-than-average number of Las Vegas residents rank high on personality measurements correlated with creativity, openness to new experiences, curiosity and unconventional views. Nevada was also ranked as one of the least “neurotic” states in the nation, suggesting that residents of the Silver State are surprisingly mellow and well adjusted.
A melting pot of different cultures
CNBC rated Las Vegas as the 8th most culturally diverse city in the US. According to US Census data, just over 30 percent of Las Vegas’s population is Hispanic, 10 percent is African American and nearly 10 percent is Asian. With diversity comes tolerance and cultural sensitivity, making Southern Nevada an ideal place for people of all races to come to receive treatment in a cosmopolitan locale.
A large and thriving recovery community
Not too long ago, Las Vegas Recovery Center was the only luxury rehab facility in the entire state of Nevada. In less than a decade, however, that number has grown significantly. What’s more, Southern Nevada has an extensive and active recovery community that regularly hosts addiction awareness events, including September’s city hall event hosted by Major Goodman and the annual Rally for Recovery, which was hosted by the nonprofit Foundation for Recovery.
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The addiction treatment program at Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC) offers a wide range of services, including:
- Drug and alcohol detox
- Inpatient and outpatient residential services
- A partial hospitalization program
- A family program
- Sober living residences
Visit our addiction program page for more information.
Our facility is overseen by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mel Pohl, Medical Director Rob Ashby and a full staff of addiction counselors and specialists. We encourage anyone who is curious about our program to tour our facility, which is located in a quiet residential neighborhood in northwest Las Vegas. We look forward to speaking with you!