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Recreational Alcohol Use among 18-25 Year-Olds

While the legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21, minors contribute to the age group with the highest rates of recreational alcohol use. Recreational alcohol use among 18-25 year-olds is staggering. In 2012 the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported findings on the prevalence of alcohol use among 18-25 year-olds. The report stated that an astounding 56 percent of young adults (ages 18-24) in the U.S. were using alcohol for recreational purposes, 29 percent were at risk for binge drinking (consuming 5 or more alcoholic drinks in one sitting) and 10 percent were heavily consuming alcohol on a regular basis. Over half of the national population of 18-25 year-olds use alcohol recreationally. This age group has its own specific risk factors for alcohol abuse and addiction, as well as unique circumstances when it comes to treatment and recovery.

Why Recreational Alcohol Use Is Popular among 18-25 Year-Olds

There are many reasons why people use alcohol, including the following:

  • To cope with stress
  • To relax
  • To numb painful emotions
  • To create feelings of confidence
  • To enhance social behavior
  • To achieve euphoric and pleasurable sensations

These reasons apply to any individual, no matter what age, sex, race or socioeconomic background. When it comes to recreational alcohol use among 18-25 year-olds, the decision to drink mostly involves two things: newfound independence and a culture that “celebrates” or “normalizes” alcohol use as the appropriate behavior at this stage in one’s life. At the age of 18, an individual becomes a legal adult. Whether the individual leaves home, attends college or stays right where he or she is, turning 18 represents adulthood and independence. When a young adult is given the opportunity to make his or her own decisions, choosing to refrain from recreational or social alcohol use is unlikely due to the individual’s lack of knowledge and experience, as well as cultural and peer influence. Incorporating drinking in all social events has become a staple of young adult culture. Simple curiosity can drive an 18-25 year-old to try drugs and alcohol, and the need to avoid social rejection may influence an individual to continue recreational drinking.

Helping Young Adults Find Alcohol Abuse Treatment

Alcohol has remained the most abused drug in the U.S. for years. Young adults face multiple risks and dangers from heavy drinking, binge drinking and recreational alcohol use. The potential consequences seem even more threatening considering the decisions that may alter the entire course of a young adult’s future. Unfortunately, many 18-25 year-olds have great difficulty getting help for an alcohol abuse problem. Denial and fear prevent many young adults from seeking help, but interventions are very beneficial for this age group.

Find Treatment and Recovery Help for Young Adults

Finding the right treatment and recovery services that specialize in your unique needs is a vital part of the recovery process. With so many options to choose from, finding the right treatment and recovery help can seem overwhelming. If you are looking for treatment and recovery options for young adults or any other specific programs and facilities, we can help. Our recovery professionals are available 24 hours a day to talk with you, answer your questions and provide you with the information you need on finding the right treatment help. If you’re ready, we can find and connect you with the treatment and recovery services that will work for you and your personal recovery needs. Call our toll-free number to talk with a helpful recovery professional today.