Stress is one of the most powerful causes of an addiction. Studies have shown that Millenials and Generation X generations are the most stressed in history. At first, it might not seem like a sound reason someone develops an addiction, after all, everyone has stress. Upon further dissection, it is easy to see how it is true. How common is to for people to look for a beer or a drink at the end of a stressful work week or day. Is it soothing to sit down with a drink in your hand at the end of the day/week? For many it is. This practice can easily lead someone down a path towards addiction. Substance abuse is a zero sum game. The more you use the more that becomes necessary to achieve the desired results. Eventually, it is impossible to create the same experience of the past, which is what all addicts attempt to recreate. This leads them in a cycle of substance use and abuse that is never satisfying. Here are five of the most common stressors leading to addiction among Americans.
The most common stressor is money. Not having enough to survive, pay bills, feed yourself or keep up with others around you. When that stress becomes unbearable and pushes someone to use drugs or alcohol to hide those feelings, then it has become a problem. The cost of living continues to rise, but wages have remained rather flat. In addition, young adults of these generations have been caught in a whirlwind of trouble with student loans. These burdens can be debilitating. More and more young adults continue to compound debt in attempts to achieve degrees they must have to have careers. Lack of job growth and a lack of loan support leads to high stress. In many cases, the burden can be too much and as a result, student loan default is a growing problem. This can lead young adults to use and abuse drugs or alcohol to help relieve that stress.
It is the main goal of most people to find a ‘soul-mate’ and live ‘happily-ever-after’. For some, this is easy said than done. To find someone who you are compatible with, to the point that you can be around them every day for the rest of your lives is difficult. It is no wonder that divorce rates are higher than ever. The stress of a bad or dysfunction relationship can be tough. Dealing with unruly or rebellious teenagers is hard to do. These struggling relationships can push people to begin coping with their problems in an unhealthy way. It is important to maintain communication to keep being supportive.
Health concerns are another major source of stress. Americans are skipping doctors’ appointments because they fear illness. A line could be drawn from finances to health problems due to the increasing cost of medical care. Either way, dealing with this stress by turning to drugs and alcohol can only increase that stress and damage. Instead, join the gym or some sort of fitness class. Exercise is scientifically proven to increase physical and mental wellness.
Another stressor, which is connected to finances, is job performance. Worrying about work or a career can lead people to addiction. Having a high-stress job or a demanding boss can increase stress and pressure on your ability to perform. It can be beneficial to make a job or career change if this is interfering with other aspects of your life.
Major Life Changes
Some people enjoy the hustle and bustle of moving around and jumping from job to job. Most like security and a routine. Major changes to your routine can cause unnecessary stress. Try to find a healthy routine, regardless of the major life change, and stick to it. In all likelihood, you will adapt and find comfort again.