Challenges Facing Young Adults in Recovery

According to the National Institute on Drug Addiction, over 23 million people age 12 and up needed treatment for drug abuse problem in the U.S. Young adults aged 15-18 made up a little less than 20 percent of that group. Unfortunately, many of those young adults do not get help for their substance abuse. As a result, young adults (especially those with a co-occurring mental health disorder) are more likely to experience fierce challenges in their lives.

Compared to their peers who do not use drugs, young addicts are:

  • More likely to experience homelessness
  • More likely to be arrested
  • More likely to drop out of school
  • More likely to be unemployed

Many of these young adults have difficulty affording treatment for their addiction. This makes it even more challenging to get the help they need.

Challenges of Young Adults in Rehab

Once young adults do enter recovery, they face a set of challenges that are unique to their age group. As a result, many of them do not complete recovery and eventually relapse into active drug addition again.

Challenges young adults face in recovery include:

  • Young adults often have a lower level of frustration tolerance. This means that they become frustrated quickly. They have a hard time with delayed gratification and may not readily see the long-term benefits of addiction recovery.
  • Young adults may lack critical thinking skills and the ability to connect their actions with the subsequent consequences. This is especially true if their cognitive development has been delayed because of serious drug use.
  • Young adults are sometimes diagnosed with a mental health disorder during treatment, which can complicate addiction recovery.
  • Young adults have not had the life experiences necessary to learn positive coping skills (rather than using drugs), so they may have an added challenge in this aspect of rehab.
  • Young adults have had less time to learn how to interact with people in a healthy manner. This may add extra difficulty to group therapy and living in a treatment center, especially if they have to room with another person.
  • Young adults may be less aware of their emotions, since this usually develops later in adulthood. This may present an added challenge in processing the roots of addiction.

Every person who goes through recovery will face his own set of challenges. Fortunately, professionals in addiction recovery are trained and experienced in helping people of all ages overcome any hurdles they may face.

Getting Help for Your Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, we are here to help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can discuss your situation with an admissions coordinator who can help you decide how best to approach your recovery. We can even recommend treatment programs that specialize in helping young adults. You have a long future ahead of you. Don’t trade it for a high that won’t last. Call us today and start on the road of recovery.

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