Why Young Adults are More Vulnerable to Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Men and women in their early 20s are notably more vulnerable to alcohol and drug abuse. Young adults undergo drastic life changes like graduating college, coping with the stress of finding employment or entering the workforce, and relocating to different cities. Drug and alcohol abuse is particularly harmful for young people because their brains are still under development and continue to mature into their late 20s.
When it comes to alcohol use, young adults who turn into heavy drinkers started well before the legal age of 21. The heavy consumption of alcohol often starts in college where binge drinking is rampant and those harmful habits could carry over, even after college has ended. Due to alcohol being socially acceptable, young men and women fail to recognize how quickly they can become dependent on the substance. There are obvious consequences to alcohol abuse: irresponsibility, outbursts of aggression, loss of inhibition. The major consequences of the abuse of alcohol are progressive and debilitating — physical dependence, trouble with the law, damaged health and relationships — that are slow on the onset but become dominant problems when the individual loses control over his or her alcoholism.
Similar to the abuse of alcohol, drug use can start off as experimentation with friends, or taking prescription drugs to cope with stress, or smoking marijuana to "unwind." What starts off spontaneous can develop into a habit, through no intention of your own. Addiction to drugs or alcohol is a complex disease with physical and psychological symptoms of dependency that cause the addict or alcoholic to continue their substance abuse despite dire ramifications, like being arrested for DUI or hospitalization for health problems. The earlier the individual recognizes that he or she has a problem with substance abuse, the better — you don't have to hit rock bottom in order to seek treatment.
For treatment to be effective, the individual must have all of their unique needs addressed and focused on. No addicted individual has the same problem, which is why drug and alcohol rehab is an excellent opportunity to concentrate on what drives the person to substance abuse.