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Young Professionals And Addiction

Compared to other white-collar workers, young professionals run a much higher risk for developing a substance use disorder. Below are a few possible reasons why so many young professionals are in danger of developing a substance use problem.

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What Is A Young Professional?

In the United States, a young professional is someone in their 20s and 30s. They typically are beginning their careers or are employed in a white-collar occupation. In the US labor force, over a third or 56 million people contribute to the demographic. Many of these young adults start in their careers or have been working in the professional workforce for only a few years. As they pursue promotions and overall acknowledgment for their efforts, they face several hurdles like a vulnerability to addiction

Young Professionals And Addiction

Compared to other white-collar workers, young professionals run a much higher risk for developing a substance use disorder. There are several significant contributors like their age group and health, but there is no one answer. Still, over the years, research has found many explanations. Below are a few possible reasons why so many young professionals are in danger of developing a substance use problem.

Age Group

In 2021, the young professional demographic predominantly consists of Millennials and some Gen Z. Unfortunately, unlike Gen X or Baby Boomers, Millennials are more likely to develop a substance abuse problem. In the past decade, addiction rates among 25 to 40-year-olds have soared. From 2006 to 2015, drug-related deaths among the generation rose by 108%. According to the Trust for America’s Health and Well Being, fatal alcohol poisonings surged 69%. 

Though Gen Z comprises only a small percentage of the young professional workforce, they also contribute to the demographics’ higher risk of addiction. Zoomers are considered among the most unhealthy people in history.  Research has discovered the generation is clinically depressed, social media crazed, and unbelievably stressed. 

Social Media 

Young professionals are among the leading users of social networks. Over 80% of adults between the ages of 22 to 40 use a social platform daily. Whether LinkedIn, Instagram, or FaceBook, many rely on these sites to share their ideas, network, and find new jobs. Though social media has positive attributes, it also has plenty of negative ones. 

The damaging mental and physical effects of social media are no secret. The more individuals use social networking platforms, the likelier they are to experience psychological and physical disorders like addiction. According to a Harvard University study, sharing personal information like promotions, thoughts, or experiences on social platforms triggers a portion of the brain associated with addiction. Several other studies have also found a connection between anxiety, addiction, and social media. It is also proven to expose users to high rates of stimuli that encourage drug use

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Job Saturated Market

The new generation of professionals is the most educated demographic in history. Still, they are dealing with one of the most saturated job markets in history. To stand out and secure their careers, they have to work harder, be extra strategic, and more intentional than previous generations. Still, even if they do manage to land a position statistically, they are severely underpaid and overworked. From 2005 to 2017, the average millennial lost about 13% of their earnings. The high level of competition and financial insecurity is a great deal of stress for young professionals. The phenomenon is linked with causing health issues like depression and anxiety. To cope, many turn to drugs and alcohol.  

Unaffordable Health Care

Blue Cross Blue Shield data predict millennials and Gen Z to be one of the unhealthiest generations ever. According to the research, over 30% of the age groups have health conditions that increase the mortality rate by 40%. Unfortunately, lack of financial security and a saturated job market makes it harder for young professionals to secure health insurance. The lack of treatment and help from medical professionals for these young adults is expected to expand health care costs by more than 33%. In turn, this reduces their chances of receiving treatment for disorders like addiction. 

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The Future Of Young Professionals And The Rise In Addiction

Given that young professionals are battling financial insecurity, a saturated job market, and unaffordable health care, it is no surprise they are struggling with addiction. The lack of support, high levels of pressure, and competition among this demographic are making young professionals prone to alcohol and drug abuse. Still, not all hope is lost. There is help available for anyone battling alcohol or drug addiction.

If you or a loved one are battling addiction, reach out for help. Contact a dedicated treatment provider today to discuss available treatment and rehab options.