How Addiction Ignores Demographics

How Addiction Ignores Demographics

One of the stereotypes about drug abuse and addiction is that it only happens to young people

Addiction has no boundaries. While certain California communities may believe they are not at risk or a loved one cannot be addicted because they do not fit the image, idea or stereotypical background of an addict, addiction does not discriminate.

Addiction and College Students

While addiction has long seemed the trademark of disaffected or mistreated youth, this is far from the truth. Addiction is growing in prevalence across college campuses and among the best and brightest students. As the journal Addiction shares, “non-medical use [of stimulants] was higher among college students who were male, white, members of fraternities and sororities…Rates were higher at colleges located in the north-eastern region of the US and colleges with more competitive admission standards” (“Non-Medical Use of Prescription Stimulants Among US College Students,” 2005). More college students are struggling with amphetamine, alcohol and other addictions than ever before, and believing that young adults from good backgrounds and with top-level educations are immune is a fallacy that only worsens addiction rates and makes speaking up and asking for help more difficult for these individuals.

Addiction and Age

One of the many stereotypes about drug abuse and addiction is that it happens to young people or not at all; that adults who never struggled with substance abuse problems in their youth are safe from addiction. This belief is part of the reason that “In 2012, the average number of seniors misusing or dependent on prescription pain relievers…grew to an estimated 336,000, up from 132,000 a decade earlier” (USAToday, May 22, 2014). Ignoring the possibility of addiction among a certain demographic allows addiction to grow unseen and unchecked. Seniors are prescribed more drugs than any other age group, and with increased use comes increased risk for addiction. Drugs and alcohol also affect seniors differently. Those who could use without concern in their youth may find that certain substances now affect them more strongly or are more of a problem due to changes in metabolism and body processes. Increased prescription rates, body changes and the prevalence of co-occurring mental health concerns such as depression related to the loss of loved ones or changes in life roles or ability all contribute to the increasing rates of addiction among senior citizens.

Addiction Recovery for All Demographics

College students, senior citizens, soccer moms and respected professionals are some of the many unexpected population groups in California that struggle with ever-increasing addiction rates. These rates will only slow and reverse with access to information and treatment. Do not ignore or deny the possibility of drug abuse or addiction. Call our toll-free helpline to find the addiction treatment resources that address your individual life situation and recovery needs. We are here for you 24 hours a day, and all calls are confidential.

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