Young Adult Drug Treatment

Young adults in the U.S. continue to struggle with substance abuse and addiction. In fact, young adults aged 18-25 have a 39% rate of drug use, higher than all other age groups. This is also the group that is least likely to receive treatment for a substance use disorder. With young adult drug overdose deaths still surging, getting access to treatment is paramount.

Substance Abuse Among Young Adults

Drug or alcohol abuse does not discriminate. Young people from polished suburban homes and intact families are just as vulnerable to addiction than those coming from poverty. Sadly, the loss of dreams, opportunities, and even life itself is the common thread among young adults trapped in addiction.

In early adulthood, the thrill of freedom and independence often features feelings of invincibility and the resulting risk-taking behaviors. College-aged young adults start partying and experimenting with substances, which for some can get out of hand. Binge drinking, prescription pill abuse, marijuana and vaping are the most common types of substance abuse during this period.

Signs of Young Adult Drug Abuse or Addiction

As a parent, you know your son or daughter and can sense when something is off. Your gut feeling tells you that your young adult child is engaging in substance abuse, but how do you know for sure?

Here are some of the common signs of young adult drug or alcohol abuse:

  • Loss of interest in school or work.
  • Withdrawing from friends and family.
  • Mood swings.
  • No longer enjoys former hobbies and interests.
  • Physical signs such as pinpoint pupils, dilated pupils, sudden weight loss.
  • Changes in sleeping habits.
  • Lying about their whereabouts.
  • Obtaining substances from illicit sources.
  • Presence of substances or paraphernalia.
  • Missing money or prescription meds.
  • Hanging around a different crowd. 

If you notice these signs, encourage your son or daughter to see a doctor who can rule out a health issue. If no health problem is present, the doctor will suggest treatment options for substance use disorder.

Young Adult Treatment

Dangers of Young Adult Substance Abuse

Substance abuse presents many risks for a young adult. These include:

  • Alcohol poisoning. Binge drinking is a dangerous past-time among this age group and can result in alcohol toxicity or death.
  • Fentanyl poisoning. The substance the young adult obtains may be laced with the deadly drug fentanyl.
  • Accidental injury. Alcohol, party drugs or other illicit drugs cause a loss of coordination and slower reaction times. This may result in serious injury.
  • Poly-drug overdose. Combining alcohol with pills may lead to accidental overdose and respiratory failure.
  • DUI arrest. Driving under the influence may result in a DUI arrest, which can cripple a young person’s future.
  • Other consequences. Drug use may result in the young adult being kicked out of college, fired from a job, or arrested for a crime.

The 7 Drugs Most Dangerous Substances Used by Young Adults

Young adults tend to take more risks when it comes to substance use. There are some of dangerous drugs used by this age group:

  1. Alcohol. Alcohol use is highest among young adults. Alcohol is a central focus of party games for this age group, which can often result in binge drinking activities.
  1. Marijuana. Cannabis use is very common in this age group. Modern cannabis has much more concentrated THC, which has even led to psychosis.
  1. Hallucinogens. Party drugs remain popular among young adults. These drugs are associated with an increase in mental health problems, risky sexual behavior, impulsivity, and continued substance abuse.
  1. Cocaine and other stimulants. Stimulants, like Adderall and cocaine, are prevalent among college students.
  1. Benzodiazepines. Sedatives like Xanax, Ativan, and Valium are used recreationally, and often combined with alcohol use. The sedating affect on the central nervous system can lead to respiratory distress.
  1. Prescription opioids. Painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin, are still widely widely abused by young people. These powerful synthetic opiates are highly addictive.
  1. Meth. Meth is a synthetic stimulant that is composed of toxic chemicals. This highly addictive drug can cause permanent brain damage.

Young Adult Drug Treatment

Young adults can and do recover from prescription drug abuse and addiction. If addiction or dependency has taken root, the young adult will first need to complete the detox and withdrawal phase. A medical detox offers close monitoring and careful withdrawal management.

Once detox is completed, the young adult enters an inpatient rehab. This is a critical step in securing sobriety, during which he or she will learn how to live substance-free lives. Lengths of stay range from 30-days to 90 days on average. Treatment consists of several coordinated therapeutic activities that the young adult will participate in for a minimum of thirty days.

Here is what to expect in rehab programs:

Addiction counseling. Certain specialized evidence-based therapies are effective for substance use disorder. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and contingency management.

Group counseling. Connecting with peers in recovery can be an importance source of support. Group therapy sessions allow peers to discuss personal feelings and practice new coping skills within a safe, supportive setting.

Family therapy. Family members can participate in the recovery process by joining family-focused therapy sessions.

12-step meetings. A.A.’s 12-step program is often part of treatment plan. The twelve steps provide structure to the recovery process.

Holistic activities. Holistic therapies services provide a different type of treatment that is focused on helping young adults achieve a calm state of mind. These might include yoga, mindfulness therapy, acupuncture, massage, and cupping therapy.

How Young Adults Can Reinforce Recovery After Rehab

Life after rehab entails making lifestyle changes that will support the young adult in recovery. Some of these actions include:

  • Restoring health and wellness. Drug abuse can take a heavy toll on both physical and mental health. Strengthen recovery by engaging in daily exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting at least seven hours of sleep. Also, include meditation or yoga to better manage stress levels.
  • Outpatient program. Step down to an outpatient program that offers therapy sessions, group support, and life skills training.
  • Set new life goals. With a healthy and productive life ahead, it is a great time to set new goals or to revisit former goals.

Pacific Bay Recovery Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

Pacific Bay Recovery is a leading residential addiction treatment program that helps young adults achieve a lasting recovery. To learn more about our young adult drug treatment program, please reach out today at 619) 350-8220

Skip to content