A Love Affair With Addiction
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?
Most everyone has experienced a loved one who has turned 40 and has subsequently gone “over the hill.” Although many use that term in jest, the reality is that many middle-aged people who make it to this age struggle with the emotional pain that comes with getting older. Many begin to feel bogged down with responsibilities that were once acceptable and fine, but have now become too much to handle. Thus, many middle-aged people struggle with what is known as a mid-life crisis, which many times goes hand in hand with depression. People begin to become unsatisfied with the lives they were given and thus they turn to substances such as prescription drugs, cocaine, and alcohol to help mask the pain that they are feeling inside. This can then lead to dependency or addiction later on in life. Although it is not the only culprit, depression is one of the largest reasons why middle-aged people turn to addiction, especially between the ages of 45 and 60, according to recent studies.
Many people, no matter their age, who are suffering from addiction will deny that there is a problem. This is where it becomes important for friends and family members to intervene in the situation to make sure that the person struggling with the addiction gets help. It could very well save his or her life.