Millennials More at Risk in Opioid Epidemic

Millennials More at Risk in Opioid Epidemic

Posted June 1, 2017 by Christian Smith

It seems like every generation a different public health issue appears that must be handled by the country. Today, that health issue is addiction, the opioid epidemic in particular, and it is, medically, a more devastating disease than any other epidemic we have seen in the past century. In this opioid epidemic, just like with the AIDS epidemic that came in the 1980’s, it is primarily young adults who are at the biggest risk. Here is some information about the particular ways that millennials are more at risk in the opioid epidemic…

Young adults are more likely to try substances

One major reason that young adults have been shown to be at greater risk of substance abuse is simply because younger individuals are far more likely to experiment with using these substances. There is a variety of reasons for this. First of all, young adults are more likely to have more free time, before they start families and dive too heavily into careers. More free time usually leads to a higher rate of substance experimentation, as a general rule. It’s the same reason that addiction rates increase around the retirement age. In addition to this, many young adults pursue a secondary education. College students are known to engage in risky behavior more than other groups. OVer half of all college students regularly binge drink, for example.

Opioids are a leading cause of death

For the age group between 20 and 29 years old, opioid usage are a particularly high cause of death. Indeed, opioid overdoses are the highest cause of accidental death for young adults, and lead to nearly 30% of all deaths for the age group in the United States. This is something that has primarily risen with the opioid epidemic. If you look back two decades ago, the rates of opioid overdose deaths were only a quarter of the rate that they are now, among this same age group.

filed under: Drug Abuse