Young People Are More Likely to Use Drugs or Alcohol During the Holidays


The holiday season can evoke a wide range of emotions among individuals depending on their life experiences and struggles, from joy and relaxation to dread and loneliness. Unfortunately, this particular December may be especially difficult for Americans across the country given that COVID-19’s spread has put an end to group activities and confined people to their households. Arizona alone has documented more than 320,000 positive COVID cases and over 6,000 deaths, and Arizona State University researchers projected that hospitals will reach capacity soon unless shutdown mandates are imposed.

While many people are struggling to cope this holiday season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported that young people are eight times more likely to abuse and drugs and alcohol amid the pandemic. There are many factors that can contribute to this high risk of addiction among teens and young adults. Florida International University has also conducted research to show the dangers of alcohol and drug use among teens during COVID, and Elisa Trucco, an FIU psychology assistant professor, says teens are spending “significantly more time at home, and greater exposure to headlines regarding COVID-19 can increase anxiety.”

Some specific reasons why young people may be especially susceptible to addiction this December include:

  • Being separated from friends they’d otherwise interact with in school, which can produce feelings of loneliness and depression
  • Having to live with their families again, which can be mentally challenging and even toxic if the young person doesn’t have healthy relationships with family members
  • Stress and anxiety associated with the challenges of virtual classes, homework, and tests
  • Less access to mental health resources and services
  • Increased access or exposure to drugs or alcohol if family members keep alcohol in the house or prescription drugs in their medicine cabinets

Because Christmas and New Year’s are associated with group and family gatherings, young adults may feel particularly lonely when they’re forced to spend this time alone or with family members who don’t support them. What can make matters even more complicated is that the holidays offer many drinking opportunities, and people may feel more inclined to drink or use drugs alone or be tempted to relapse if they’re in recovery.

Unfortunately, past pandemics and natural disasters have shown to have major negative effects on individuals over time. According to a CDC analysis, hospitalization rates for substance use disorders skyrocketed by 35 years three years after Hurricane Katrina. This is why it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible if you or a loved one are dealing with alcoholism or drug addiction. The longer you fail to address your addiction, the worse it can become, increasing your risk of overdose.

We Offer “You-Based” Treatment Programs

Having helped countless people overcome their drug and alcohol addictions over the years, our rehab team at Decision Point Center knows that there is no “one size fits all” cure for addiction. Every person is unique and experiences addiction in a different way, and as a result, treatments and therapies must be tailored to serve each of our patient’s needs. At our facility, we offer a variety of specialized programs, including those that treat alcohol, heroin, cocaine, opiate, and meth addictions, and therapies ranging from family therapy to EMDR therapy. We also have an inpatient program and an outpatient telehealth program, so whether you’re ready to check into a facility or need support during your ongoing recovery, you have options with us.

At Decision Point Center, all our patients are treated as family members with the respect, compassion, and confidentiality they deserve. Call us to learn more about our various addiction treatment programs today at (844) 292-5010, or contact us online.

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