Millenials: A New Generation of Highly Functional Addicts?

By April 9, 2015Addiction
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The Developing Brain
According to new research, brain maturity doesn’t end during puberty. Both brain development and hormonal activity continues well until one’s early 20s, says Child Psychologist Laverne Antrobus. In today’s society, childhood and puberty is often rushed through and youngsters are pressured into succeeding and achieving certain things (like getting a job, moving out, and starting college) once they hit 18. Even our society’s economic policies are telling kids that they should feel and be adults by the time they hit the 18-year-old mark.

And what happens when a teen or a young adult person succumbs to drug abuse? Well, they’re more susceptible to neurotoxic effects as compared to adults and studies show that even casual drug use can have long-term side effects that can be detrimental to one’s health.

Faster Drug Dependence
Young Millenials are at higher risk of drug dependence due to the fact that their brains are still developing. For example, according to Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine, millennial drug users are more prone to the side effects of long-term drug usage, which includes altered size and structure of the brain as opposed to adult drug users.

A Tech-Savvy Generation of Addicts
Millenials are the first generation of young adults who lived in a world of video games, smartphones, and the Internet. Statistics show that 55% of Millenials procure drugs or alcohol using their mobile devices. Cyber-millenials top the charts for being the group who are most likely to binge drink, do drugs, and yet be able to keep jobs and engage in healthy lifestyle choices like training for a marathon, drinking green juices, and refraining from smoking cigarettes.

Treatment Options
When it comes to treating millennial drug addiction, a different, and highly individualized approach must be used. This is a generation of smart, tech-savvy young adults who grew up in a world wherein instant gratification is a normal part of everyday life. This is a generation of smart individuals who can successfully lead double lives wherein they can work out, have a job, lead a healthy lifestyle and binge drink or do drugs all at the same time. They are a generation of people who can handle multiple tabs open at the same time. So why not be able to do it all in real life as well?

A sober living home is not usually seen as a vital step during the recovery process but for highly functional addicts, a sober living home might just be the key to a lifetime of recovery.

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