Millennials and Addiction
Born between the late 70’s to the early 2000’s, millennials have been witness to a number of historic events including the fall of the Soviet Union, 9/11, the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle, as well as the internet and cell phones. Millennials grew up during the era of the Self-Esteem movement in parenting, where children were taught that they each are special and can achieve anything. They also went to college during a time when tuition had become extremely expensive and the economy took a hard hit, making it difficult to find jobs.
As millennials were coming of age, the reality of the world often came crashing down on them, leading to a rise in anxiety. When Gen X was coming of age, depression was everywhere, along with the notion of medicating individuals for the condition. Today, anxiety has surpassed depression as the leading mental health concern.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) there has been an increasing trend in mental health issues among millennials. This trend leads to an increase in prescribing medications to manage these mental health issues. Use of these drugs is legal since they are prescribed by their doctor. Often individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues are prescribed medication by a doctor and the underlying cause of the illness is never properly addressed.
Recent studies show that 57 percent of mental health patients are treated with medications without any type of psychotherapy. There are also direct links found between prescription drugs and illicit drugs. People can become addicted to their prescriptions and find cheaper options in illicit drugs to achieve similar effects.
Self-medication is considered to be a significant cause of addiction. While there is frequently a genetic component, a number of individuals believe that self-medication is a component as well. Self-medication is the use of mood altering substances, including alcohol, illicit drugs, and prescription medications, to cope with the uncomfortable symptoms of depression and anxiety. Substance use should be recognized as a symptom of a mental health disorder, rather than being seen as an issue of addiction alone. While more research is needed, the link between addiction related mental illness in millennials, the rise of anxiety in this generation and the link to addiction is clear to many.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, the team at A New Start, Inc. is here to help. Our addiction specialist team can get you the help needed to begin the journey to recovery. Contact us today at 844.TALK.ANS.