Summer Break and Drug Use: Why Millennials are SufferingJuly 2, 2019 - Addiction, Uncategorized - 0 Comments
Summer is often a huge deal for the millennial. Those still in college enjoy a much-deserved break from school while those with jobs take their vacation time to travel the world. However, summer often has a dark side in all generations and has become particularly harsh for millennials. It is during the summer that many youths fall into the throes of drug use and addiction and trigger a potential lifetime of abuse.
The types of drugs abused will vary wildly. Some will just smoke cigarettes and binge drink with their friends – which might seem tame to some – but this usage may cause more heavy drug abuse. For example, college students may take methamphetamine to increase their energy levels for summer classes, abuse Xanax or benzodiazepines to minimize their text anxiety, try opiates for the first time, and even get into heroin. All of these issues can make rehab an absolute necessity – otherwise, a millennial may suffer for years to come.
Therefore, you need to understand why drug use skyrockets during the summer months and what can be done about it. Fully grasping this knowledge will help you know why a millennial uses opioids, benzos, or alcohol and give you an insight into their mental process when they are using substances like these. This information can also help you decide when treatment options like 12 step, detox, and dual-diagnosis are so crucial to recovery.
What Statistics Say About First-Time Drug Use in the Summer
Many studies have examined the rates of first-time drug abuse in millennials to gauge when and why they fall into these problematic behaviors. One study – reported in multiple locations – found very startling results regarding summer drug abuse. Simply put, the first-time use of substances in the millennial generation – often during the teen years but sometimes later in life – peaked during June and July. Drug abuse rates during these months were incredibly high and potentially damaging to the health and well being of these individuals.
For example, it was found that around 11,000 people tried alcohol for the first time every day in June and July – a rate that is nearly double the daily average of most months. The pace here was similar for December, likely because of the impact of Christmas vacation and having a little fun with family members. And this increased rate was just one of many instances of first-time drug use during these months.
While millennials are often past their teen years, understanding the connection between these youthful individuals and older millennials helps grasp the high increase of drug use in the summer. For example, it was found that, during June and July, about 5,000 teens smoked cigarettes for the first time every day.
This rate was about 2,000 more per day than in other months of the year. And while the study didn’t extrapolate on this point further, cigarette use is often a starting point for further substance abuse.
Therefore, first-time marijuana use experienced a similar increase during these months – nearly 5,000 millennial individuals tried marijuana for the first time every day during these summer months, an increase of around 2,000. When you add all of these numbers up, you get a rather grim painting: during June and July, 671,000 teens try alcohol with a further 305,000 try cigarettes or marijuana each. Add up these numbers, and you have 1,281,000 cases of youths trying drugs during those two months.
And when it comes to older millennials – some of whom are well into their 30s – this increased drug use often stays a tradition. As a result, millennials – particularly those who went to college – may think of the summer as their “fun” time and abuse drugs and alcohol as they did in the past. But what else about season intrigues millennials so much and gets them to abuse substances?
Why Summer Could Trigger Higher Drug Use Rates
The millennial generation is one with a more cynical worldview with a unique insight into the reality of life. As a result, they may think that they “understand” the dangers of substances like opiates, opioids, Xanax, and benzos, often better than their parents. Unfortunately, like their parent, they likely don’t fully understand these risk and are putting themselves in a dangerous position.
But why summer? Why abuse methamphetamine in the summer or even benzodiazepines? Why are drugs attractive to millennials during this time? Simply put, summer is a unique time of the year for just about everybody, particularly younger generations. These individuals have the energy to go on vacation, travel, and experiment with new activities.
Unfortunately, this means that a millennial could finally break down and try a drug that they’ve never been interested in using before and may experiment with other substances. This situation is worsened by the fact that young adults like millennials are typically committing more risk-taking activities. And drugs are often attractive to younger generations for a variety of reasons.
An article by “Focus on the Family” took an in-depth look at this topic and the many elements that make substance abuse attractive to youths. They found that some individuals were allured by the high of the drugs and the positive feelings that they triggered. Younger people, like millennials, are often very hedonistic and react very strongly to the overwhelming rush substances like heroin and trigger in their bodies.
Other millennials react to peer and even parent pressure, as they see their friends, moms, and dads abuse these substances and try to follow along to fit in with them. It might seem hard to believe that someone in their mid-20s to 30s could react to peer pressure in this way but think of the last time you went out and didn’t want to drink: did your friend tease you and try to get you to drink? Most people have experienced this situation, and it can be hard to say no to friends. And millennials are no different.
But why do these influences become so dominant in the summer? Is there something special about this season that makes it such a draw for drug abuse? According to one study, the explanation could be straightforward: increased leisure time. Even millennials in the workplace have more free time in the summer to experiment. This finding is concurrent with an increase in summer peaks in property crimes – simply put, people with nothing better to do get bored and act out in destructive ways. And the impact of the party atmosphere prevalent in many college campuses – and particularly during the summer – could also trigger substance abuse.
More broadly than these issues, though, are potential problems with mental health. Millennials are often trying to adapt to the trauma that they experienced during their teen years related to dating, maturing, trying to get into college, and sports competition. This type of anxiety and depression is often quite intensely even years after high school and college and could lead to symptoms of PTSD that individuals try to suppress with drug use. All of these influences make it essential to understand the symptoms of drug abuse and addiction.
How to Gauge a Millennials’s Drug Use
Anyone worried about millennials abusing drugs in the summer need to know how to spot the common symptoms of addiction and how to manage the treatment properly. Typically, this process requires tracking changes in a person’s behavior – such as an increase in depression symptoms – and using this information to gauge whether they are going through the trauma of drug abuse. Typical signs of this problem include:
• Sleep Problems – Many substances – like methamphetamine – may make sleep very hard for a person. Alternatively, substances like benzodiazepines, heroin, and other types of opiates and opioids can make someone sleep too much, such as falling asleep in the middle of the day.
• Secretive Behavior – If a millennial gets defensive or lies about what they’re doing, they may have fallen into substance abuse. This symptom could also be a common with anyone coming of age because they resent somebody telling them what to do.
• Swings in Mood – Drugs often affect a person’s mood in many ways. For example, benzos and Xanax may calm the mind at first but can trigger sudden mood swings without warning. Pay attention to this moodiness to gauge whether or not it is excessive for your loved one.
• Health Problems – Substance abuse may trigger a multitude of health issues that makes a person’s life more difficult, including dental health concerns and weaker immune systems. Watch how often a person gets sick in the summer to gauge this potential.
• Altered Appearance – When your loved one appears gaunt, sickly, confused, thinner, or older during the summer, they may have fallen into a pattern of drug abuse that is affecting their appearance in many ways.
These symptoms typically indicate moderate to heavy substance abuse and make rehab and drug treatment a critical step. Before you try to get your loved one to rehab, though, you should speak to them about their drug use and understand its severity. You may be able to talk them away from abusing these substances and help them regain a sober lifestyle.
If your loved one is resistant to your help or asks you for treatment options, you need to send them to a dual-diagnosis care center as soon as possible to help them escape the throes of substance abuse. These centers utilize multiple options to create a holistic care method. They provide the most comprehensive and effective way of beating addiction for good.
For example, they can use the 12 step program to walk your friend or family member through sobriety in a controlled and meaningful way. They also utilize detox along with 12 step care to help the millennial come down from drugs without experience massive withdrawal symptoms. This benefit is critical because some types of withdrawal can be life-threatening if they aren’t adequately treated.
Just as importantly, dual-diagnosis centers can gauge issues with mental health, such as PTSD and depression, and understand how these problems fuel further substance abuse. These issues often trigger a cycle of addiction that can be hard to break without drastically altering a person’s patterns of behavior. This care method utilizes various psychological help to ensure a teen is happy and healthy.
When We Can Help
If you are a millennial who is suffering from the debilitating effects of drug abuse or if you know someone else who fell into addiction during the summer, you should contact us at His House today to get the help that you need for a drug-free life. Our professionals utilize a variety of recovery methods, including 12 step, detox, PTSD management, and dual-diagnosis to help you regain the happy life that drugs robbed from you.
Our beneficial recovery options focus on your needs and change based on how you react to treatment, the substances that you use, and your mental health. We’ll help you to remember the trauma that you’ve suppressed, work you through the anxiety that affects your life every day, and give you an insight into the depression that is making your life difficult. All of these complicated issues can cause a hard-to-escape situation that makes sobriety more difficult for you to achieve, particularly if you’ve been abusing substances for most of your young adulthood.
So please, please, make the right call and contact us today to get a free assessment of your situation. Then, you can schedule a visit to see what our facility has to offer. We work with people from all walks of life and try to find a payment option that meets your needs and which ensures that you are happy, healthy, and free from the horrible impact of drugs for the rest of your life. We look forward to working with you and helping you achieve sobriety.