The Millennial Meltdown
Drugs and alcohol have claimed more Millennials than any other generation.
Millennials are typically defined as those who were born anywhere between 1981 and 1996. They are the generation who not only witnessed the rise of technology but also experienced it first hand. They are the generation who grew up with information at their fingertips; they are the curious generation, the generation who believe they can change the world.
Unfortunately, recent studies have revealed that millennials seem to be affected by drugs more than any other age group. According to a recent study, opioid overdose death rates among millennials increased by more than 500% between 1999 and 2017, and deaths caused by synthetic opioids increased by 6,000%. These deaths have claimed the lives of 36,000 American Millennials in 2017 alone.
So, how did it all start? Most millennial addicts don’t start with shooting up heroin—the truth is a lot scarier than that. A large percentage, start abusing prescription medications such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Norocs. While there could be multiple reasons for this, in most cases the individual is put on prescription medication to handle pain due to an accident or trauma, then he realizes that it did a lot more than just handle the pain—it also handled another problem for them. Once addicted to the medication, they also have to figure out how to get more. Unfortunately, prescription pills, whether they are prescribed by a doctor or bought from a drug dealer, become increasingly expensive at around $194 a gram whereas heroin ranges anywhere between $50 to $80 per gram. What then occurs as that the addict begins to buy the less expensive option to get the same high.
The scariest aspect of heroin is that there are multiple strains of it. Some are stronger than others and some are mixed with additives such as fentanyl, cocaine, or even rat poison. Due to all the possible mixtures, it makes the effects of the opiate incredibly unpredictable and death results in some cases.
While most doctors take an oath to help and serve people, some have been taken over by the greed and pressure of the pharmaceutical companies and the result is that medications are being prescribed that are not only highly addictive but also dangerous. As the public becomes more and more aware of this growing problem, it is imperative we handle the root of the problem and that starts much earlier than we think it does; it starts from the people we trust with our healthcare and our well-being.
It is important that we solve the problem before it starts. We can say no. We can ask for an alternative, less addictive option. It is our responsibility to protect ourselves and our loved ones. It is our duty to protect our future.