Despite all the horror stories and anti-drug campaigns, the reality is that many young adults dabble in recreational drug use. Here are eight common reasons why millennials start using drugs:
1. Satisfying Curiosity
Let’s be honest: We’ve all done acted recklessly solely to satisfy our curiosity. A study at the University of Cincinnati concluded that some students start using drugs just to experience how it feels to be high. In fact, young adults’ curiosity may win out even if they understand the risks of drug addiction.
2. Weight Loss Urges
Cocaine and prescription pills like Adderall are so appealing partially because they can help induce weight loss. Therefore, some young women and men who desperately want to quickly lose weight may start using drugs in order to reach their weight loss goals.
3. Coping with School Stress
Universities have become extremely stressful environments. Despite the piles of assignments and pressures of part-time jobs that many students face, most college students crave fun and relaxation as well. Therefore, many students use drugs to cope with university stress.
Bullying and low self-esteem can lead students to look for ways to cope with their struggles or change their social image. Drugs provide an easy way for many young adults to escape from their traumatic realities and become someone completely different. Although professionals haven’t yet established a direct connection between drug use and bullying, plenty of evidence shows that bullying is a major gateway to later addiction problems.
5. Peer Pressure
Peers play a major role in the lives of many college students. Most young adults just want to fit in, even in their university years. Although our peers can challenge us to excel and perform well in our college studies, they can also negatively influence us to skip classes, steal, cheat, use drugs, or try other risky behaviors. Many students cite peers as a major influence in their first time trying drugs or alcohol.
6. Low Academic Performance
Those who have difficulties in their academic career may turn to drugs or alcohol, much in the same way that someone being bullied might start using drugs to cope. Failure never feels pleasant, so some students will use drugs to escape the pain of their inability to perform as well as they or their loved ones had expected.
7. Family Member Drug Use
When young adults see their parents and older siblings using drugs, they may feel that drug use is a justifiable option. Furthermore, some young people may be predisposed to having an “addictive personality” based on their genetic makeup. In other words, if a parent or other family member uses drugs, you’re more likely to try them, too.
8. Freedom From Strict Parents
For some young adults, drug use may be a way to rebel against “unfair authorities” in their lives. In fact, a 2014 Eurpoean study found that children who grow up with strict, authoritarian parents are more likely to experiment with cannabis than those with more lenient parents.
The reality is that nearly 40% of college students experiment with drugs or use them on a regular basis. Although there’s nothing wrong with experiencing everything you can in college, trying drugs even just once can possibly have disastrous consequences. If you know these eight reasons why young adults use drugs, you can prevent yourself from throwing your life down the drain.