Drug Addiction and Youth (18-24)

two adults sitting near water

In today’s society, drug addiction continues to be a pervasive issue among young adults between the ages of 18 to 24. Addiction treatment providers must address the younger generation’s unique needs to create solutions and provide effective care. To move forward, it’s important to understand the evolving situation of youth and addiction, as well as the reasons behind modern trends in drug use.

Young Adults and Addiction Today

With some youth already abusing drugs as young as 12 or 13, many have been exposed to multiple addictive substances by the time they reach young adulthood. The National Survey of Drug Use and Health indicated that 55% of young adults between 18 and 25 used illicit drugs.

Some of the most common substances that young people use include marijuana and prescription pain relievers. Opioid use is also increasingly common in the younger generation. With widespread exposure to and experience with drugs, youth may not consider many substances to be high risk. A 2019 study found, for instance, that only 30% of young adults consider weekly use of marijuana to be a high-risk activity.

Causes of Drug Addiction in Youth

For many young adults, addiction is a struggle that encompasses their emotional and social lives. They turn to drugs for various reasons, from simple experimentation to escaping from pressures at work or home.

When asked why they used drugs, young adult participants in a research study said that their top reasons for substance use included factors such as:

  • Keeping alert and engaged at social events.
  • Relaxing.
  • Becoming intoxicated.
  • Escaping negative or depressive feelings.

Addiction Treatment Options for Young Adults

In the midst of high levels of youth drug addiction, offering the best treatment options is crucial to helping young adults recover and move forward. Because they are in a crucial window for successful addiction recovery, youth must get treatment earlier rather than later.

Treatment providers commonly use the following methods to work with those struggling with addiction:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): By helping participants retrain their thought patterns, this therapy method addresses the root beliefs that lead to addiction.
  • Evidence-based treatment: This method uses best practices that have led to observable, successful outcomes in the past. It is highly effective for those in the young adult demographic.
  • Co-occurring disorder treatment: For youth and many other age demographics, mental health disorders and other conditions often accompany drug addiction. This treatment method allows for dual diagnosis and effective treatment for multiple conditions.

How to Make a Difference for Youth

Age-specific treatments help the younger generation get the personalized care they need to move forward and successfully recover.

For more information about how we help young adults recover from drug addiction, fill out our online contact form or call us at 1-844-955-5501 today.

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