A lot of young people are discouraged to tread the path to sobriety because of one thing – it’s not cool. At all. Watch the popular music videos on TV and you’d be hard pressed to find young people dancing to an upbeat song while attending an AA meeting. Although if you really think about it, that would make for a funny music video! So if you have a teen or someone who’s in his/her early twenties who would be encouraged to get well if it was the cool thing to do, then look no further than thriving L.A. Los Angeles is such an exciting city brimming with interesting young people – you’d be surprised to know that a lot of which are on their road to sobriety (or have finished that part of their lives and are now living their lives successfully).
Young Adult Addiction
The statistics are sobering. 64% of teens that have used prescription drugs got them from friends or relatives. Those in their mid-teens and regularly smoke marijuana have more than a 50% chance to get mentally and behaviorally addicted to weed until they reach their 20s and beyond.
Signs of Addiction in Teens and Young Adults
- No desire to continue school, work, or both
- Less concerned about personal grooming/hygiene
- Loss of interest in extracurricular activities and other hobbies
- No longer makes time for friends and stays cooped up inside his/her bedroom
- Gets into trouble; picks fights
- Weird physical changes like an increase in frequency of nosebleeds or other physical problems that could be drug-related
Alcohol is still the number one drug that is being abused by American teens and those in their early 20s (the fact that alcohol can be legally purchased could be a factor so it would be interesting to see addiction statistics in the next few years when and if marijuana is/becomes legal in the majority of US states). Prescription drugs, marijuana, and heroin/cocaine closely follow alcohol. These teens and young adults are more prone to smoking cigarettes as well, which doubles their chances for diseases and other problems later on in life.
The great thing about teen/young adult addiction is that there are lots of ways in which these could be prevented at the onset or treated when it’s already there. Usually, the concern for parents is a place for where their young adult can recover. L.A is peppered with sober living facilities and it’s known to have a lively approach to recovery. Attendees in L.A. AA meetings are famous for coming early for a meeting just so they can mingle, eat, and chat with fellows. They even leave together for some clean fun after a meeting. Movies, bowling, and maybe dinner is not exactly what most people imagine doing post-AA but in L.A., this is actually commonplace. The thing to remember is that for those with siblings, relatives, children, or even friends whose only roadblock to recovery is the fact that sober living homes or AA meetings don’t hold a particular appeal (and recovery itself is actually welcome), L.A. might just have a place for them to have fun while on the road to recovery. This is due to the fact that they can mingle with young people (and even celebs) post-AA. And yes, not to mention that there are fabulous beaches that can actually help them make the process that much easier.