Recreational Alcohol Use among 18-25 Year-Olds

Recreational Alcohol Use among 18-25 Year-OldsAs young people begin adulthood from 18 to 25, they must make choices that will affect their lives like never before. Alcohol is one such factor that many young people think about for the first time during this age range. They must decide how much they will drink, how often and with whom. They drink a considerable amount and tend to have many problems with alcohol. Some possible causes for these problems are the attitudes and circumstances common among 18 to 25 year olds’ lives.

How 18-25 Year-Olds Start Drinking

Young adults tend to view situations more optimistically than they might later in life. While this bias may help someone gain a foothold in the world, it can also warp her assessment of alcohol. Optimism makes it easy to see the fun of a raucous college drinking party, and it diminishes how a person perceives threats of drinking. As a result, young adults are less likely to recognize their binge drinking or alcohol dependency as a problem. Optimistic college students can be influenced by a notion that alcohol is simply an integral part of the college experience. However, many peer groups skew alcohol abuse, like the following organizations:

  • College student organizations
  • Military units
  • Entry level workforces

Young people are greatly influenced by their peers, so seek help to get sober and avoid alcohol abuse.

Challenges of Intervention for 18-25 Year-Olds

When alcohol abuse causes problems for 18-25 year-olds, these drinkers may have a disadvantage for receiving help. Families may have less opportunity to intervene with these drinkers for the following reasons:

  • Distance from parents and siblings
  • No life-partner
  • A deliberate effort to be self-reliant

Due to these problems, friends and family members can more easily avoid or ignore alcohol problems. Young adults are also less likely to identify their own alcohol problems and ask for help. Interventions often come when a person’s alcohol use ruins a college experience or leads to legal trouble.

Treatment for Younger Alcoholics

Some treatment methods for alcohol abuse are poorly suited to the problems of young adulthood. Mutual aid groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous, often comprise mostly older members who cannot relate to younger people. Alcoholism can develop slowly, so younger people who seek help may not find much common experience with older alcoholics. However, practitioners use techniques like motivational interviewing to steer 18-25 year-olds away from alcohol abuse before serious problems begin. A short series of brief interventions can help young people examine the benefits and risks of alcohol abuse.

Help for Alcohol Abuse

If you or someone you know struggles with alcohol abuse, don’t wait for it to get worse before taking action. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to learn more about alcohol abuse and to recover as quickly as possible.