Young Professionals Addiction is on the Rise

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There is a disturbing trend that is happening all across the United States. The demographic with the largest increase in drug addiction is young professionals. The 20 to 30-year old age group has seen a significant uptick in drug use; moreso among those considered to be young professionals, those employed in a professional or white collar occupation. The National Institute of Medicine notes that young adults are the most likely to abuse prescription drugs, opioid pain relievers, ADHD stimulants and anti-anxiety drugs than any other demographic. But why is it that addiction among young professionals is on the rise?

There may be several factors contributing to this increase. One is the fact that more states are legalizing not only medicinal marijuana but recreational marijuana as well. That’s an issue for young adults who are susceptible to addiction in the first place. There’s a reason why marijuana is called the “gateway drug”. Some research suggests that marijuana use is likely to precede use of other licit and illicit substances and the development of addiction to other substances. While other factors can contribute to addiction, such as social settings, generics, etc., there are indications that those who start abusing marijuana are more likely to move to harder drugs. Another reason why young professionals may be using drugs has to do with the availability of opiates overall. It’s a well-documented fact that doctors and other medical professionals are over-prescribing pain killers and other opiates, and with that, the increase in addiction has been stunning. Surprisingly, yet another fact contributing to the increase may be the acceptance of drug use in today’s society. There is simply more of acceptance of its use. Among some young professionals, it is almost chic. People are social beings, strongly influenced by the groups in which they reside.

Adderall is one drug in particular that seems to be following the trend of easy to get, socially acceptable to use, and highly addictive. It’s the drug of choice that is misused by young professionals who believe they need it to focus while studying for an exam or learning a new job skill. New research finds misuse of the drug has been growing, and comes with many risks. The challenge is how readily available it is. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, found that the most common way of getting non-prescribed Adderall was from family and friends, two-thirds of whom obtained the drug by prescription.

Of course, many other drugs besides Adderall are being abused by young professionals. Everything from cocaine to heroin to any other kind of opiate can and are abused by these people who are in the beginnings of their careers and feeling the pressure to not only succeed but excel quickly. In recent years, addiction has become more prevalent among professionals in the medical, legal, and other high­-pressure fields. Drug addiction through the use of painkillers has become a popular alternative to the types of drugs that debilitate more quickly. People are able to function as addicts longer and therefore not have immediate consequences of their drug abuse. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that 48% of Americans use at least one prescription drug. Not only is that a frightening statistic, but it shows how acceptable drug use has become.

The overall problem is how to help these people once they become addicted. For many, they may not even realize that they have a problem or assume that they can beat the problem on their own. When it comes specifically to young adults, it is critically important to not only add a certain level of appeal to the process, but to also blend it within the unique young adult mindset. Moreover, it is important to provide a combination of both medical and holistic detox services, which ultimately enables the patient to benefit from a more well rounded recovery experience.

While addiction among young professionals is on the rise, there is also a growing public awareness of the issue, and health professionals are starting to take notice. They are becoming more aware of the drugs they prescribe, both in dosage and longevity. Employers are starting to become more aware of the signs of drug use, and are more open to help should an issue be discovered.

If you are a young professional who believes you have an addiction opioids, it’s important to seek help early. Contact the Arizona Addiction Recovery Center now by visiting or calling 602.346.9130.