Millennials are the last generation born in the 20th century. This generation has been the topic of much of the media and the press attention. Some have characterized this generation as tech-obsessed, lazy, and self-absorbed. On the other hand, they have also gotten a lot of attention for their strengths in areas like business, economics, and marketing. But being a millennial myself, I can tell you that most of us probably don’t fit these generalizations. However, one area of deep concern for my generation is the ever-increasing statistics of substance abuse.
Is the Millennial Generation Driving the Opioid Epidemic?
This generation was born and grew up at a time when the United States became inundated with prescription opioid pain relievers. Between 1991 and 2011, prescriptions for painkillers in the US tripled from 76 million to 219 million per year. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) with increasing mental health illness diagnosis, there has also been an increase in the medications prescribed for them. With this comes a growing dependency as well as the increasing tolerance which leads to higher doses.
Between the overprescribing of medications to American citizens and a culture that pushes alcoholism and addiction to substances at such a young age, it is no surprise to find that the Millennial Generation makes up the largest percentage of any age group that is abusing prescription drugs and are at the greatest risk of becoming addicted to increasingly more dangerous substances. Prescription painkillers are the drug of choice for most millennials.
Here are some helpful steps to reaching out to help and bring hope to Millennials:
Open Your Doors And Your Hearts To Them
Finding a supportive community and building strong relationships are essential to ongoing recovery. This is why at RU Recovery we insist that the church is God’s Support Group to help the addicted. Our most successful students are the ones who plug into a local church as a part of their recovery and when compassionate individuals from that church reach out and volunteer in the program and build relationships with the addicted it further strengthens their recovery. Be authentic and real with them as you support them in their recovery.
Create Awareness And Get Educated
Finding a supportive community is essential to recovery. However, misunderstandings about addiction and the recovery process, often stand in the way of providing the critical support and the connections people need. To be a part of the solution, we need to be educated on the problem. RU Recovery ministries offer many resources on addiction and recovery that can help educate you in helping the addicted.
Help raise awareness of the problem in your community by writing letters to local newspapers, contacting the press, and holding community meetings and town hall events.
Support Individuals and Families in Rebuilding Their Lives
Addiction can leave the lives of individuals and their families dramatically altered by the loss of jobs, homes, or damaged relationships. They need your support for both the addict and their family members in building and restoring their lives and relationships.
Be a part of preventing opioid addiction in the first place. When being prescribed medication, ask your doctor about addictive substances and have a plan with your doctor to prevent overuse or over prescribing. Dispose of old medication at your local pharmacist and keep your medications locked up.
If you are a millennial and you struggle with an addiction, the RU Recovery Program is here to help you!
At RU Programs across the country, the one thing that you will find different is our focus on stories of people who have found victory. We don’t talk about war stories of our past, but rather we focus on the future and learning from others who have been where you are now and are currently living free from their addiction. Here you will find real people with real problems just like you that will come alongside you in support to help guide you towards victory over your addiction.
RU Recovery Programs are faith-based and faith-based really works! If you are tired of going in and out of rehabs and not seeing any change, RU Recovery is the successful alternative. Find a local meeting of like-minded individuals near you by clicking here.