Young people are always at a higher risk for developing addiction. Today, in a marketing centered world, the word addiction is used rather loosely. For the tech-savvy millennial generation, addiction applies to the internet, to smart devices, to food, and anything they do. Rather than being a criticism on the influential youth, the addictive tendencies of the millennial generation are an indication of their neurochemistry.
According to Bustle, “a 2012 study found that the adolescent brain, which is impulsive and risk-taking, is particularly vulnerable to developing addictive behaviors, because habits in those years of your life are heavily tied to the part of the brain that provides rewards.” Reward is a big part of addiction. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for creating messages of pleasure which go directly to the nucleus accumbens, which is the part of the brain called the reward center. Teens are prone to finding pleasure because their circuitry is geared for it. Adult brains are less impulsive and thrill seeking compared to adolescent brains.
Unfortunately, marketers and drug dealers alike take advantage of how malleable the young mind is. All kinds of pleasure-targeted marketing is used to get teens’ attentions. Not only are they the most highly pleasure seeking, they are also some of the greatest market influencers. Teens, what they buy, and what they post about online, drive the market. Young adults are more likely to make a purchase based on what their friends are buying or posting about online. That being said, when teens start to experiment with drugs and alcohol and advertise their substance abuse online, more are likely to follow. Addiction appears as the cool thing to do which creates feelings pleasure. More than anything, the greatest pleasures millennials get is from fitting in with their peers.
Signs of addiction or substance abuse in millennials usually happens socially. There will be a distinct change in friends, hobbies, and choices. Wardrobe might change, language might change, and so will attitude. For those young enough to be in school, typically there will be a drop in school performance. Eventually, both mental and physical health will cripple beneath the weight of substance abuse.
Millennials also have the greatest chance at recovery. Getting sober young means a lifetime of health, happiness, and wellbeing. Avalon By The Sea offers certified dual diagnosis treatment focused on holistic healing. Nestled on the iconic cliffside of Malibu, California, our residential treatment program offers privacy and serenity. For a confidential assessment or more information on our programs, call 1 888-958-7511.