A great deal of people think that the majority of drug and alcohol users are young adolescents and college students when in reality, a large number of 30s-50 year olds are experiencing addiction problems as well. Studies have shown that deaths from illicit drug over doses have risen 800% since 1980 and that is due in large part to the immense amount of prescription drug abuse that often fills the homes of suburban families. For the middle-aged, drug and alcohol abuse not only exists because of past experiences or genetics, but many use substance abuse as a mask to numb the pain from major life changes such as losing a job, getting a divorce, or experiencing some sort of trauma. These changes bring with them an intense load of stress, and often times the people who experience these situations cannot handle them and they turn to substance abuse to handle the depression they are feeling. So the question becomes: is there a connection between depression and substance abuse?