Unfortunately, substance abuse can affect any individual in the world, no matter their background, upbringing, job title, relationship status, or even age. This is down to the fact that most addictions are involuntary and stem from uncontrolled substance abuse.
Yet, over the years, research has suggested that there is a high correlation between substance abuse and age groups. This research highlights how certain age groups are at a greater susceptibility of relying on drugs and alcohol, down to their behavioural changes, down to life pressure, down to mental health states.
With this in mind, it is imperative to remember that some individuals are at greater risk of substance abuse. In this case, both younger teenagers and adults, and elderly individuals correlate highly with substance abuse, down to a number of different variables.
In this blog, we share the link between substance abuse and age groups, the importance of spotting the signs and symptoms, and the recovery opportunities available via rehab, offered here at Rehab Clinics Group.
The correlation between substance abuse and age groups
As outlined above, there is a strong correlation between substance abuse and age groups. Although a reliance on drugs and alcohol can develop for any given individual, data suggests that the life experiences, the transitions and the behavioural changes of certain age groups can influence greater addictive tendencies.
Data suggests that both younger and elderly age groups carry weaknesses, linked to substance abuse. Factors which can trigger this weakness includes the premature age of initial consumption, and mental health states through consumption.
- Age of initial consumption
Research shows that those who consume drugs and alcohol earlier on in life are at greater risk of relying on them later down the line. Although the majority of individuals do wait until late teenage years to legally consume the likes of alcohol, those with addictions have measured as early as 12 years old, branded as premature consumption. This premature consumption can result in the development of substance abuse in early adult years.
- Mental health through initial consumption
Mental health states can also dictate the risk of substance abuse. Currently, mental health issues, such as depression or paranoia are at their worst through teenage years, early adulthood and late adulthood. This is commonly down to vast behavioural changes and chemical imbalances in the brain. Through this association, those with mental health issues also correlate highly with substance abuse, down to its coping characteristics.
Here is exactly why substance abuse and certain age groups do match up, inducing weaknesses, increasing susceptibility to excessive drug or alcohol abuse. Down to this link, it’s important that those within targeted ages groups do consider their added risks, with the potential of developing a physical and psychological addiction.
Younger individuals and substance abuse
When considering specific age groups, younger individuals are at greater risk of substance abuse, as drug and alcohol consumption are normalised. Excessive consumption of both used to be a taboo subject, Yet, through the acceptance of both, through the normalisation of substance abuse, more and more individuals are turning to drugs and alcohol through teenage and early adult years.
The above influential factors do increase the risk of substance abuse for the age group. However, as generations develop, now more than ever, substance abuse is strongly impacting younger individuals.
Older individuals and substance abuse
Older individuals are also unfortunately at greater risk of substance abuse. Down to the misuse of prescription drugs, down to the rise of physical and psychological health problems, both legal and illegal drugs are misused.
It’s also important to point out that older age groups do currently suffer significantly with mental health issues. There is a high correlation between older men and depression, suicide and anxiety. With this in mind, those cognitive changes can influence the use of drugs and alcohol as a coping strategy, as an escape.
The importance of spotting substance abuse
No matter your age, substance abuse can be detrimental. With this in mind, it is imperative that the signs and symptoms of substance abuse are understood and considered.
- Do you rely on drugs and alcohol as a coping strategy, as an escape?
- Do you fall into the high-risk age groups?
- Do you suffer with mental health issues?
- Have you consumed drugs or alcohol from an early age?
- Do you normalise the use of drugs or alcohol?
- Do you struggle to withdraw from drugs and alcohol?
- Do you find it hard to see the severity of substance abuse?
If you’ve answered yes to the above, you will unfortunately fall into a higher risk bracket of developing an addiction. It is mandatory that you understand this and familiarise yourself with the signs of substance abuse. Without this, you’ll likely enable your drug and alcohol consumption, heightening the makeup of your addiction.
Recovering from substance abuse
If you’re suffering with substance abuse, it is important that you understand that recovery is possible. Yet, to do so, you will need to commit to a time of drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Here at Rehab Clinics Group, we can help you with this through our specialist rehab programmes, suitable to tackle substance abuse.
By completing a range of addiction treatments, you can firstly understand your initial causation, while working through common physical and psychological associations. Relapse prevention is also prevalent, ensuring that your future risks of substance abuse are reduced, that you understand how to control your associations.
Although substance abuse can impact and change the life of any individual, unfortunately, those within younger and older age groups do stand at a greater chance. Down to this, it is wise that you consider your own consumption levels, that you look out for your loved ones.
Though data doesn’t suggest that all individuals in those age groups will develop a drug and alcohol addiction, it is important to remember that pre-existing weaknesses are present and are fuelling the correlation. No matter your age, you should see the seriousness of substance abuse and the importance of overcoming your addiction via rehab.