Surprising Data On Millennials

How it relates to drug treatment
Mallory Stern is a Millennial who works at Serenity at Summit (Summit Behavioral Health photo)

A new study has found that contrary to popular opinion, Millennials are more likely to seek self-improvement to make their lives better.

Millennials get a bad rap, mostly because people in other age groups think they are spoiled and entitled.

While those labels continue to be applied to Millennials, the truth is that research has found that Millennials are different from other groups in some beneficial ways.

For example, Millennials tend to view success not by the amount of money they make, but by how fulfilling their lives are. They are also more likely to become involved in social issues, and have been the main drivers behind social activist groups like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter.

The point is, that as with many polarizing issues in the country, this group should not be painted with one broad brush, because there are many nuances in their behavior.

In fact, a new study has found some interesting trends among Millennials, especially in how they view self-improvement. Let’s take a dive into what this study tells us, how it can be applied to Millennials seeking treatment for substance abuse, and the types of drugs that pose a challenge to this demographic.

Millennials Crave Self-Improvement

Millennials are often viewed as the group most likely to embrace technology, and to use technology to achieve a goal.

The study found that 70 percent of Millennials, watched YouTube to learn how to do something new or learn more about something they’re interested in.

That highlights one of the major characteristics of Millennials, which is that they are more willing to learn about things they don’t know, and more willing to learn about a subject matter that intrigues them.

And Millennials are also playing a big role in the cultural shift of tackling problems to improve their lives, with 47 percent of those referenced in the study admitting that they watched YouTube videos to improve their health or feel better after feeling down.

What’s interesting about that trend is that it highlights the feeling among Millennials in this study that their lives are not perfect, and that something needs fixing.

And that is one of the most difficult things for people struggling with substance abuse disorders to do, admit that they have a serious problem, and then find ways to actively solve that problem.

That isn’t to say that the best answers to drug treatment are going to be found on YouTube, but the platform is diverse enough to provide Millennials with more information about addiction, and to point them in the right direction when it comes to treatment.

In fact, some top YouTube stars like Markiplier have revealed their own battles with mental health issues. In Markiplier’s case, the battle was with depression and bipolar disorder, and with John Green – another YouTube star – the battle was with anxiety.

Both of these YouTube celebrities revealed their struggles so that their subscribers would be more willing to seek treatment with the understanding that there is no stigma attached to mental illness.

And that can be a powerful message, especially when 45 percent of Millennials said that an influential YouTube personality has inspired them to make a personal change in their life.

So what does all this tell us about Millennials?

First, it tells us that Millennials are not a demographic that sits back and lets things happen without making an effort to understand their problems.

Second, Millennials are obsessed with changing their lives for the better, and they are not shy to seek out social media platforms such as YouTube to achieve that goal.

Lastly, YouTube stars who have influence over Millennials are becoming much more revealing about struggles with mental health issues. They are removing the stigma of mental illness and urging their fans to deal with problems in their lives that are preventing them from living the best version of who they are.

 

Millennials and Substance Abuse

But what’s interesting about Millennials is that they are not struggling with the same substance abuse issues as baby boomers or Generation X.

As a group, Millennials drink less than those other demographics, smoke less marijuana, and use less cocaine.

Unfortunately, Millennials are struggling with prescription painkillers, which have gained a lot of attention lately because of the opioid epidemic) that has swept through many major cities in the U.S.

Part of the reason for this shift in Millennial drug behavior as compared to the other two major demographics is that young people tend to think of prescription pills as medication as opposed to a dangerously addictive drug.

As a result, Millennials are far more likely to seek pain relief from legal prescriptions, despite the fact that these painkillers have now become as addictive as cocaine or heroin.

Millennials live for instant gratification, or in this case, a “quick fix” since it’s all they know.

We want to go somewhere? A car is waiting out front within minutes - Thanks, Uber.

We want to order a new iPhone case? Package in hand next day - Thank you, Amazon Prime

We want food? Our desired meal is a few clicks away from our front door - Thank you, Grub Hub

Why should pain relief be any different?

Many see their doctor and are most likely walking out with a script for painkillers in hand. Why?

Because patient satisfaction is everything today. Even if it is putting a young life at huge risk.

So...that shift is quite clear if you ask me. What used to be illegally purchased directly off the streets is no more. Like famous music artist Macklemore sang, “My drug dealer was a doctor.”

 

The Willingness to Seek Drug Treatment

More than any other demographic, Millennials are willing to take definitive action to improve their lives and to learn about topics that they know little about. That is a good sign that Millennials struggling with substance abuse issues will be more likely to explore drug treatment options that can help them regain control of their lives.

To learn more about teen addiction treatment, be sure to view the video below


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