Millennials are often defined as the group born between 1986 and 2000. Average age is between 16 – mid 30’s. According to the U.S Census Bureau, Millennials mark the largest population in the United States. They continue to state that the Millennial generation has exceeded the Baby Boomers in terms of the largest generation to have ever existed.
Due to their high population, they have a higher influence on crucial issues that affect the country. This is in terms of political, economic, as well as social facets. They have enough influence to create a paradigm shift in all areas of the society.
For example, they now form the largest customer base for businesses. Hence, they are known to influence the purchasing decisions and behavior of the customer population. Thus, the term alpha influencers.
That said, it is no secret that the Millennials are different. They are more liberal and idealistic. Yet, they do not just sit on their idealistic ideas, but they push towards them. The Millennials hold different values and views in various aspects, including drug use. Yes, the Millennials differ in their drug use as well.
This begs the question, what does the millennial drug use consist of? Let us take a look.
Marijuana Drug Use
Thought systems are changing towards the use of Marijuana, especially in America. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana tops the charts as the most used illicit drug.
A further study was carried out by the Monitoring the Future Survey. The annual survey studies the changes in drug use, including attitudes toward it. According to their findings, attitudes toward the use of Marijuana are changing, due to most states legalizing the drug.
Such states include Massachusetts, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, just to name a few. In fact, according to a research carried out by Unity Behavioral Health, at least 56% of Americans are supporting the legalization of Marijuana.
It is important to note that marijuana use is marked across all generations, including the Millennials. Millennials are, however; more liberal in the use of the drug.
The use of prescription painkillers or opioids is more common among the Millennials. According to a study done by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, in the year 2015 alone, 2 million Americans use prescription Painkillers. This includes individuals from the ages 12 and up. The numbers have increased over the years at a high rate.
Most painkiller abusers start innocently. According to a research done by Mayo Clinic, painkiller drugs, antidepressants as well as antibiotics are the commonly prescribed drugs prescribed to the American population. That said, at least 70% of the American population have been prescribed opioids or painkillers.
For others, drug addiction starts from the use of heroin. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, at least 23% of heroin users develop an addiction to opioids.
In conclusion, the changing times have obviously influenced the millennial drug trend. What with the changing laws, societal views and technological trends. Despite all the changes, drug use can affect one negatively. The effects need to be considered before partaking in such trends.