Challenges Facing Young Adults in Recovery

Challenges Facing Young Adults in Recovery

Many recovering addicts who are young adults have trouble being social or going out with friends

Drug or alcohol addiction recovery is difficult for anybody, but unique challenges plague different age groups. For instance, young adults between the ages of 18-25 years old often have a high risk of abusing drugs and alcohol and developing an addiction. In many cases, the same challenges that led to addiction are still present in recovery. The following challenges can affect young adults in addiction recovery:

  • Social acceptance – In general, young adults are more accepting of recreational drug abuse. In fact, substance abuse is often encouraged, so certain settings constantly expose people to new substances. Many recovering addicts who are young adults have trouble being social or going out with friends due to this increased acceptance and encouragement of substance abuse.
  • Lack of responsibility – One of the most powerful forms of motivation for recovering addicts is their need to be responsible for others. For instance, older males with young families may feel a deep need to stay clean to provide for the families. However, young adults often lack responsibility and accountability, which can challenge their recoveries. If they lose a job, do not come home because they are passed out or spend all their money on drugs, it typically affects few people other than themselves, so they may feel tempted to relapse.
  • Extensive peer pressure – While peer pressure can affect any age group, it is usually more extensive for young adults. The need to fit in can control a young adult’s life and drive her to revert back to substance abuse.
  • Increased exposure – A young adult’s social life is almost non-existent if it does not involve some exposure to drugs (alcohol included). The constant exposure to alcohol, marijuana and other substances can make life in recovery that much more difficult.
  • College – Young adults who overcome addiction and reach recovery may still face college life’s constant exposure to drugs and alcohol, a great challenge to recovering addicts
  • Turning 21 – Many young alcoholics become addicted before they turn 21, the age they can legally purchase and consume the substance. In this case, a 21st birthday can be a uniquely challenging day to get past when living in recovery.
  • Lack of insurance – Many drug and alcohol addiction treatment services are covered by insurance, which is uncommon for a young adult to have, meaning treatment may seem too expensive

If you understand some of the challenges that face young adults in addiction recovery, then you can support them in powerful ways. It can teach support partners what to look out for and when to know that extra support is necessary.

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