There are many factors that can cause people to be more susceptible and at risk of addiction. Knowing these factors can help individuals to be aware of their risk of addiction. Millennials are the age group of adults who are 23-38 years of age. Millennials can be at a heightened risk compared to other generations of adults. In this blog, first, we’ll discuss the millennial-specific factors that can place an individual at higher risk for addiction. After that, we’ll discuss factors that are not specific to millennials.
Millennial Addiction Risk Factors
- Normalizing Substance Use
In recent years, the legalization of marijuana has happened in multiple states. Combine this with the trendy nature of drug use in popular culture and recreational drug consumption has become normalized. Consider this: Many popular movies and music are centered around drugs, partying, and binge drinking. In addition, this content actively glamorizes drug use and addiction without showing the real ramifications. This creates a culture where millennials may be more likely to try drugs and experiment. Therefore, they may not fully be understanding the risk of addiction.
- Alcohol Culture
Bottomless mimosas at brunch, Wine down Wednesdays, Happy Hours… There is an occasion to drink for every day of the week, holiday, and event. As a result, this constant exposure to social drinking creates a culture where alcoholism can sneak into your life and run rampant.
- Poor Economy
With student loan debt looming over millennials and stagnant income, the millennial generation is bearing the brunt of economic stress. Even with the highest levels of education in history, wages are remaining the same, causing immense financial pressure. Therefore, millennials can be susceptible to using drugs and alcohol as unhealthy coping tools.
General Addiction Risk Factors
- Environmental Risk
Individuals who experience an absence of parental interaction and bonding are at a greater risk of becoming addicted to substances. Children who are exposed to drugs at home, their school, or in the local community are also at a greater risk. As well as, victims of abuse and neglect.
Not to mention, a global pandemic has catastrophically changed our lives causing many millennials to turn to substances. Many have lost jobs or had to finish their education online, isolated at home. Many have turned to alcohol and drug use to make the time go by and bring their stress levels down.
- Mental Illness
Whether diagnosed or underlying, mental health conditions can increase addiction risk. If an individual with a mental illness does become addicted to substances, mental health symptoms can become more severe. This creates a chain reaction. Sometimes individuals feel that substances lessen the symptoms of their anxiety or depression. This quickly spirals and ultimately makes matters worse. Medical conditions unrelated to mental health can also increase the risk of addiction. For instance, individuals prescribed pain medication after a procedure can experience a greater risk of addiction.
- Method of Consumption
Different substances can be more addictive than others. The method of consuming drugs can also affect the risk of becoming addicted. Smoking and intravenous drug use are typically more addictive than consuming orally. Of course, this doesn’t mean it is safe to abuse drugs orally, addiction is still a risk. Smoking and injecting cause substances to more quickly enter the bloodstream and brain. Versus taking substances orally, need to be digested and filtered through the body.
Know Your Risk
Being aware of your individual risk is the first step in avoiding addiction. There are screening assessments you can utilize to further understand your individual risk of becoming addicted to drugs. If you or a loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol, please contact the Harm Reduction Center. Harm Reduction Center is a private healthcare facility that offers customized treatment to our patients. We provide Integrated Medication Assisted Treatment and all outpatient levels of care. Our goal is to empower and support our clients’ recovery. We understand recovery looks different for everyone. Harm Reduction Center will stand by you as you or your loved one walks this journey.