The late teens and early to mid 20s are marked by major life changes. As young adults transition from their adolescents into adulthood, they seek independence; however, as they break free from the guidance and support that their families have provided, they can encounter a number of trials and tribulations. It can be difficult to figure out what it is that you want to do with your life and to find your niche. Add to that the demands of college, work, living alone, and all of the other changes that young adults encounter, it’s no wonder why many people in their late teens and 20s turn to drugs and alcohol.
Many young adults who use alcohol and drugs do so as a way to cope with all of the stresses that they are confronted with. These substances make them feel “better”, as they heighten their sense of well-being, give a sense of euphoria, and help them escape the real world. But, these so-called positive effects of drugs and alcohol only last a short time. In an effort to continue feeling those effects, many people use again and again, and with repeat use, tolerance grows. As an individual’s tolerance increases, he or she needs to use more of a substance in order to feel the same effects that drugs or alcohol once provided. Increased use of any substance – legal (prescription painkillers or antidepressants) and illegal (cocaine, marijuana, or heroin) – can lead to dependence. Once a person has developed an addiction to drugs or alcohol, professional help is needed. Without treatment, addiction disorder will only worsen. In time, addiction – which is considered a complex disease – will overtake the life of the person who is battling the disease. Addiction will eventually destroy all aspects of a person’s life.