The recreational use of alcohol by 18-25-year-olds is constantly increasing in our culture. Although driven largely by partying college students and hard-drinking military personnel, few members of this demographic are immune to the risks. As they exit high school and enter into the next phase of their lives, 18-25-year-olds are actively laying the foundation that the rest of their lives will be built. Substance abuse may be a “normal” or socially acceptable aspect of young adult culture, but that does not mean that it is safe or healthy at all.
The following are common factors in young adult alcohol abuse:
- Young people are curious about the effects of alcohol.
- Peer pressure from certain social groups drives most substance abuse.
- Underlying emotional insecurity, anxiety, self-esteem deficiency, and depression increase young adults’ susceptibility to alcohol abuse and addiction.
- The lack of accountability and discipline that comes with college and the military fosters experimentation and abuse.
- Addictive patterns develop much faster in younger brains than in older brains.
- Social acceptance and media promotion of alcohol abuse are ubiquitous in youth culture.
Alcohol abuse is particularly hard on the brains of young adults. Critical neural pathways are being formed every day in the brain, with peak development happening at age 25. Introducing alcohol during this time greatly increases the likelihood of the development of addiction patterns and reduced brain performance. In addition to chemical dependence problems that young adults may face for the rest of their life, drinking can have a significantly negative impact on their ability to learn new skills and perform on the job. Millions of young people sabotage their future by drinking heavily while their brain is still developing.
According to a 2009 study by the US Department of Health and Human Services, alcohol abuse is higher among 21-25-year-olds than any other age group. This same study reveals that just under 50 percent of 18-21-year-olds and nearly 70 percent of those aged 21-25 use alcohol regularly. People who start drinking regularly as teenagers are up to 15 times more likely to become alcoholics than those who wait until they are of the legal drinking age. The dangers of some of the most vulnerable people in our society abusing alcohol at the highest rates measured should seem obvious, but informational and interventional outreaches are often highly ineffective at changing the behavior of this age group.
Helpline for 18-25-Year-Olds
If you are an 18-25-year-old who has developed a pattern of recreational alcohol use, please call our toll-free, 24-hour helpline for immediate help. Our counselors are always standing by to offer you any of the following free services:
- Helping individuals with drinking temptations when they occur
- Helping young people determine if they have developed an addiction to alcohol
- Confidentially helping young people confirm insurance coverage of treatment costs
- Connecting high school and college students with highly successful treatment programs
- Helping parents, friends, and family develop strong communication skills as they confront the alcoholic young adult in their home
This help is available for free at any time of day. Call now and let us help you break free from the crushing devastation of alcohol addiction. You have a long life ahead of you. Don’t compromise your full potential by continuing to abuse alcohol.