Drug Abuse Among Millennials: What You Need to Know
Millennials tend to suffer from a poor image in the media; they tend to be portrayed as entitled and irresponsible. A recent New York Times article, for instance, explored the question of whether millennials stood a chance out in the world. Drug abuse among millennials tends to be a problem, stress being one of the main causes of this behavior. Amid burdensome student loans, a job market that doesn’t pay well, rising parental disappointment and high rates of depression, millennials tend to turn to drugs. Understanding the role that substance abuse plays in the life of millennials, however, isn’t often cut and dried.
Millennials are the most addicted group
According to the United States Census Bureau, millennials – those born from 1982 to 2000 – are a group 83-million strong. Those addicted among them number 10 million, or more than 12%. Compared to the prevalence of 9.4% drug use across generations, millennials have a serious addiction problem.
Adderall is often the gateway drug
Adderall, Ritalin and other drugs prescribed to those suffering from attention-deficit disorders are frequently abused by young people for the simple reason that they enable great focus. Since this drug is initially used for better performance at work, rather than for recreation, it tends to come with a better reputation. With no stigma such as might go with dangerous recreational street drugs, such central nervous system stimulants tend to be adopted by people who wouldn’t otherwise ever choose substance abuse. Once a person is hooked, the drug often leads them to other, more dangerous drugs, as well.
In many cases, long-term substance abuse is stable or on the decline
There is good news. A recent study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse called The 2015 Monitoring the FutureSurvey has indicated that drug abuse among millennials — use of addictive substances such as alcohol, prescription painkillers and synthetic cannabinoids — has dropped, when compared to use among the young in the past. The rate of use of some other kinds of addictive substance, however, has remained steady.
Nevertheless, some drugs have become more popular than in the past. For the first time, marijuana is used by 6% of millennial’s, a number that surpasses tobacco use by half a percentage point. Marijuana use is likely to rise, as well, because more young people now see it as a safe drug.
A number of reasons are brought up to explain why drug abuse among millennials may be on the decline. The fact that millennials tend to be more in regular touch with their parents than previous generations is one possible reason; indeed, many millennials live with their parents well into their 20s. A general aversion to risk is another.
Millennials are open to treatment
With earlier generations, when a person using drugs was told by friends and family that they needed help, often, they would take offense at the suggestion. With millennials, however, counseling and therapy are considered normal. This means that a young person veering off into substance abuse is far more likely to be taken to therapy, to be helped before and to be helped before things get out of hand.
Yet Very few get real rehab
When comparing drug use by generation with treatment access, 90% of millennials in need of help with their drug habit do not get the professional help that they need, just the same as with other groups. While they tend to be willing to obtain treatment, the poor job market and the state of healthcare means that few have access.
Finding treatment for addiction is important. Addiction to substance abuse is a mental disorder, and cannot be treated without professional help. Approaching a qualified and certified drug treatment center is the best way to leave an addiction behind forever.
If you or a loved one are ready for recovery or would like to know more about treatment options available, do not hesitate to call us today at 1.800.429.7690.