Millennials, Alcohol, Drugs, and Suicide
The Millennial Generation
Drugs, alcohol, and suicides are the leading causes of death for millennials. Addiction rates are climbing for those born between 1981 through 1996. The death rate among millennials is up 400% largely due to millennial addictions driven by the opioid crisis.
Alcohol-related deaths in millennials have also increased over the last two decades. Every state in America has seen an increase in suicides and alcohol-related deaths.
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The Millennial Difference
Millennials face challenges unique to their generation that include opioid and mental health problems. They are the children of parents who were addicted to pills. They are the first generation exposed to the internet.
The introduction of the internet and smartphones predisposed them to millennial addiction. Millennials were the first to use and exploit social media.
Cyberbullying makes front-page news and leads to many cases of millennial addiction. Hundreds of children have committed suicide to escape the trauma.
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Parental involvement in their child’s life has compounded the issue. “Helicopter parenting” has left millennials unable to develop essential decision making, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills. Millennials also have a higher level of anxiety than previous generations due to the culture change in parenting.
GenX parents showered their millennial children with love and affection. Parents took intense measures to baby proof everything for child safety. The divorce rates declined. Smoking in the house became an issue. Physical discipline became taboo. Awareness of mental health began to spread.
Generations of Unresolved Trauma
On the flip side, intergenerational trauma remained a quiet epidemic. This trauma comes from unresolved issues. It does not necessarily have to happen to the child; the child can inherit it from the parents. The impact this trauma has on millennial addiction and suicide is more than evident.
“What happens in the family, stays in the family” can have negative impacts later in life. Exposing and processing sexual and physical abuse is difficult. This is more painful when the family is in denial. For many millennial children to cope and avoid conflict, they may act as if everything was okay.
Denying that a millennial addiction is directly related to a dysfunctional upbringing is not helpful. Through no fault of their own, these parents were unreliable, inconsistent, and unpredictable towards their children.
Parents did not establish a sense of safety in these situations. Many millennials carry the emotional burden of physical abuse that causes them to turn to drugs and alcohol.
Why are Millennials Affected?
Research shows that many different life circumstances are responsible. Millennial addictions are often rooted in childhood trauma. Traumatic stress contributes to how individual processes and perceives situations. Their inability to use coping skills leads to drug abuse.
Many millennials lack the skills needed to face trauma. Unstable and violent relationships experienced in early childhood compound the matter. Millennials comprise more than one-third of the nation’s workforce.
Yet, wages remain stagnant. Many face a lifetime of student loan debt. Financial debt is often a motivator for suicide and addiction. Millennials comprise the largest portion of Americans serving in the military. All of these factors contribute to suicide and drug abuse rates.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. There are more suicides in America than in homicides. Alcohol, drugs, and suicide among millennials are of concern. According to the Trust for America’s Health, drug-related deaths among millennials have increased by 108% from adults ages 18 to 34.
The suicide rate correlates with extreme levels of anxiety. Millennials are coping with stress that is far from being considered average. The global pandemic from COVID-19 is causing a whole list of issues. The isolation, joblessness, and uncertain futures have reached a boiling point for at-risk millennials. Finding ways to cope, many have turned to suicide and drug abuse.
Millennials often turn to alcohol to cope with stress. There is an increase in the diagnosis of alcohol use disorder in young people. The abuse and misuse of alcohol have killed more than double the amount compared to opioids.
Many times, millennials were encouraged to drink at home. Parents believed that drinking with their children was a good idea. Somehow this shared experience would shelter them from seeking it elsewhere. For many young millennials, their addiction began at home. Often with support and encouragement from their parents.
Millennials for Change
Millennials get a lot of flak from prior generations, who find them overly pampered. But the truth is, millennials are high achievers who want balance. They are not afraid to think for themselves. They have an overwhelming dedication to social justice, and they are self-aware.
Finding treatment for millennial addiction is a growing awareness. Self-help guides and classes that teach practical skills are increasingly in demand. Millennials recognize mental health is just as important as physical health.
Millennials challenge the stigma of mental health and addiction. They openly embrace the need for mental health days. Overcoming the stigma from psychological disorders saves lives.
More people are willing to get the help they need to live fulfilling lives that are addiction-free. Embracing drug rehab and putting yourself out there to get help is what recovery is all about.
There is no replacement for the help given in medical drug rehab. Grappling with issues beyond your control is difficult, especially when you do not have the tools necessary to process your issues. When you enter drug rehab, you find a comprehensive treatment that takes care of your mind and body.
Frequently many millennial addictions co-occur with other diagnoses. When you treat the underlying conditions, recovery is possible. You cannot treat addiction alone without addressing all the factors.
Behavioral Therapy to Prevent Suicide and Drug Abuse
Language is the key to treating trauma. Learning how to connect to those moments with communication can have a powerful effect. The language of pain is different for everyone. You are empowered and in control when you can confront and release the pain.
Trusting in the therapeutic relationship gives you a safe space. That small inner voice that causes pain no longer has the power it once did. By challenging your thoughts, actions, and responses, you can change. Behavioral therapies aim to help you stop the negative thoughts and unhealthy habits.
Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing
Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing or EMDR is a type of psychotherapy. It helps you to resolve traumatic experiences. It starts with recalling traumatic memories while your eyes follow a therapist’s movements. The process repeats over and over until you are no longer distressed by the memory.
The experience is unique for everyone because the healing process comes from within us. It is challenging at first. Many people experience unpleasant sensations, but over time this goes away. When you avoid trauma, it can come back to you in flashes or nightmares. But in EMDR, you are in a protected environment to discuss your experiences.
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Hope represents an effective tool, and millennials are a generation full of it. Treatment at Resurgence Behavioral Health can help you or your millennial loved one. Seeking help at our centers can help you stop drug or alcohol addiction.
You can enjoy life with happiness and empowerment through recovery. Regardless of the reason why you are struggling with mental health or drug addiction, help is available. The crucial thing to remember is that your mental health matters, and if you are suffering, you do not have to do so alone.
There are options. Resurgence offers comprehensive care for everything you need to get back on track. Our online insurance verification tool can get you started. If you have questions, do not hesitate, call today.