One of the most significant times in people’s lives is when they are young adults between the ages of around 18 and their mid-twenties. The reason why this time in life is so impactful is because this is the time when most people transition from childhood to adulthood.
As a result, there are numerous growing pains that young adults go through that can greatly impact the rest of their lives. For example, most people start to go to college and/or start their careers during this period of life. Many young adults also start to take on a multitude of financial responsibilities as they go from living in their parent’s house and being fully dependent on them to possibly moving out, becoming independent, and getting their own place. Many young adults also begin their first adult romantic relationship and may even get married.
As young adults transition from childhood to adulthood and become more independent, they also get more freedom to experiment with their identities and discover who they truly are as individuals. Part of this phase of experimentation and self-discovery unfortunately often includes a time in which they start abusing the most addictive drugs.
Additional Factors for Substance Abuse in Young Adults
Not only are young adults more prone to abuse substances because they are discovering their identities and becoming newly independent, but they are also more prone to substance abuse due to their risk-taking nature. Young adults tend to take more risks than their older counterparts because the frontal lobe of the human brain does not fully develop until around age 25.
The frontal lobe of the human brain helps people make sound and responsible judgments and decisions. Because the brain’s frontal lobe does not fully develop until around age 25, it’s no surprise that young adults under 25 tend to make more risky decisions, such as the decision to abuse drugs.
Young adults also tend to abuse substances more often than older adults because of the stress that comes with growing up. Transitioning from one stage of life to another is stressful and often confusing. This is especially true for young adults who transition from being dependent children to independent adults in a matter of around a few years.
Young adults that transition from childhood to young adulthood must all of a sudden start paying their own bills, developing their own careers, developing their own identities, and more. Receiving all of these responsibilities in a short amount of time can lead to stress, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. Therefore, many young adults abuse substances to cope.
Social pressures also often cause young adults to develop substance addictions. This is because young adults often still care intensely about the judgments of their peers.
Genetic and Environmental Factors for Young Adult Addiction
Genetic and environmental factors that can increase the chances that a young adult starts abusing substances include family genetics and one’s home environment. For example, a young adult that comes from a family of alcoholics may be genetically more prone to suffering from addiction issues. Such a person may also be more prone to addiction simply because that is the type of behavior that he or she has seen throughout life, as most people replicate behaviors that their parents or caretakers exhibited.
Data and Statistics on Substance Abuse in Young Adults
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than one-third of young adults report binge drinking, otherwise known as drinking five or more alcoholic beverages in a row, in the past month. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, young adults also abuse prescription opioid pain relievers, ADHD stimulants, and anti-anxiety drugs more than individuals of any other age group.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse also states that:
- Approximately two in five young adults use illicit drugs.
- One in 11 young adults is a heavy drinker and binge drinks on five or more days.
- One in 10 young adults suffers from an alcohol use disorder.
- One in 7 young adults suffers from a substance use disorder.
- One n 13 young adults suffer from an illicit drug use disorder.
- One in 17 young adults suffers from a marijuana use disorder.
- One in 100 young adults suffers from an opioid use disorder.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:
- Approximately one in 14 young adults use hallucinogens.
- Around one in 17 young adults use cocaine.
- Approximately one in 18 young adults misuse opioids.
- Around one in 22, young adults misuse prescription benzodiazepines.
- Approximately one in 125 young adults misuse methamphetamine.
- Around one in 200 young adults use heroin.
Dangers of Abusing Substances as a Young Adult
While many people experiment with substances in their young adult years, it is dangerous to do so. This is because the human brain technically does not fully develop until a person is around 25 years old. Therefore, individuals that abuse substances between the ages of 18 to 25 can do serious damage to their brains as they’re still developing, causing their brains to form in unhealthy ways that can increase the chances of addiction.
Substance Abuse Treatment for Young Adults
There are various forms of substance abuse treatment in Los Angeles, CA that young adults who suffer from addiction can take advantage of. These substance abuse treatment programs range from inpatient treatment to outpatient treatment.
Young adults who suffer from severe substance addictions should seek out inpatient or residential addiction treatment. Both inpatient and residential treatment programs allow rehab patients to live in the facilities where they’re receiving care until their treatment programs are over.
The main difference between inpatient and residential treatment is that residential treatment is slightly less structured and severe. This is because patients of residential treatment programs get more freedom to do their own thing in between rehab sessions.
Outpatient treatment programs differ from inpatient and residential treatment programs in the fact that outpatient treatment program patients get to stay and live in their own homes when not in a rehab session. There are three different levels of outpatient substance abuse treatment. The most intensive form of outpatient rehab is a partial hospitalization program (PHP) in Los Angeles, CA treatment.
Partial hospitalization program (PHP) patients attend rehab for around five to eight hours a day, five days a week. PHP treatment programs usually occur for around 30 to 90 days. PHP treatment is a great rehab option for young adults with moderate to severe substance addictions.
Intensive outpatient program (IOP) in Los Angeles, CA treatment is the second most intensive form of outpatient rehab. IOP rehab patients receive treatment for several hours a day, three to five days a week, for around eight to 12 weeks. Young adults with moderate-level substance addictions should seek out IOP treatment.
Receive Treatment for Young Adult Addiction at Westwind Recovery®
Westwind Recovery® is a behavioral healthcare center with a mission to make recovery achievable for everyone. In order to achieve this mission, Westwind encourages its patients to bond with one another through fellowship and help one another grow as everyone learns how to overcome their addictions.
Not only does Westwind incorporate fellowship into its treatment method, but it also incorporates fun activities. This is because here at Westwind, we believe that recovery doesn’t have to be miserable. In fact, achieving recovery should be fun and vibrant as it allows individuals to reclaim power over their lives.
To help patients achieve recovery, we here at Westwind Recovery® offer all forms of outpatient treatment. Within the outpatient treatment programs here at Westwind, patients can expect a wide variety of evidence-based addiction therapies in Los Angeles, CA that can help individuals overcome a number of different substance addictions.
Here at Westwind Recovery®, we even offer a number of California-based sober living homes in LA with supportive care, services, and amenities. That way our patients can receive the support that they need to maintain recovery once it’s achieved.
If you’re a young adult with a substance addiction, you should look into attending rehab at Westwind Recovery®. To learn more about Westwind Recovery® and why it could be the perfect rehab center for you to receive addiction treatment at, contact us here. Our staff is more than willing to answer any questions that you may have.
Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods. Dr. Deena is a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker since 1993. LCSW #20628. Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Deena has worked running treatment centers, worked as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals as well as school settings and currently has a thriving private practice in the LA area. Dr. Deena has appeared regularly on the Dr. Phil Show as an expert since 2003. She has also been featured on many other TV shows, podcasts and has contributed to written publications as well as podcasts.