Why is Drug Use on the Rise?

Drug use, abuse, dependence and addiction are all on the rise in this country. We see addiction devastating families, communities and entire towns. Overdose rates are also on the rise. More people are experimenting with different kinds of drugs, and at earlier ages. Drug use is becoming common in young people, even in small children. Even though there is more awareness about the harmful effects of drugs, along with increased resources to help people, the numbers of people using drugs are still climbing. Why is drug use so rampant in our culture?

One reason for the increased prevalence of drugs in our society is our culture’s glamorization of them. Movies and television show characters using drugs and alcohol on a regular basis, and they often show the drug use in a charming light, making it appear cool, especially to younger viewers. Musicians mention drugs and alcohol in their songs, often not in a cautionary way but celebrating and idealizing them. Drug use becomes normalized. Children consume these media, even when they’re not age appropriate. They become brainwashed into believing that drugs and alcohol will make them cooler and more popular. Pressure from their friends and peers makes them think they will be better liked and more accepted if they do what the cool kids are doing – partying, drinking and experimenting with drugs. When people start using drugs early on as children, they can be more likely to develop a dependence that stays with them for years to come. It is not uncommon for addiction to start developing in childhood. Our cultural marketing is a major reason for the increase in drug use.

Another reason is simply how much more available drugs are now than they were even just a few years ago. Prescription painkillers, which many people become addicted to, are being prescribed at higher rates. The pharmaceutical industry’s stronghold on our healthcare system has a lot to do with this. New and stronger drugs are always being manufactured, some of which make it onto the party circuit, the people who party and frequent nightclubs, and this can cause them to spread like wildfire. Designer drugs are coveted by people, especially in affluent circles, when they want something newer and more exciting than the normal drugs and alcohol they’ve become bored of.

Perhaps the biggest reason for the increase in drug use is our collective heightened stress levels and worsened depression. We’re facing new stressors, at home, at work, in our families and relationships, that are taking a huge toll on our mental and emotional health. We turn to drugs and alcohol to relieve our pain. We are more stressed, anxious, worried and depressed as an entire culture, and this can have a direct effect on the rates of drug use and addiction.

Riverside Recovery is here to help you and your family cope with the devastating effects of addiction. Call (800) 871-5440 today.