Help for Substance Abuse in Your 20s

By: Emory Brain Health Center
Date: Apr 26, 2017

It’s Friday night, and everyone in the dorm is getting ready to go out. Your roommates are pregaming before heading out to the bar. They hand the liquor bottle to you. As the night goes on, you keep getting more and more drinks.

The next thing you remember you are waking up in the dorm hallway. This is the fourth time you blacked out this month. At brunch, your friends joke about you being a “lightweight,” and nobody seems bothered by your binge drinking. However, you know something is not right. Young adults are at particularly high risk of using substances in dangerous ways.

More than one-third of college students have engaged in binge drinking (five or more drinks on one occasion) just in the past month. Also, nearly 1 in 7 U.S. young adults qualifies as having a substance use disorder. Drinking may be viewed as a natural phase of their lives. But, the choices made today can have a considerable impact on the future.

“Recovery is a life-long journey, and today I’m glad to know that I’m in it.”


As Ben puts it, “Recovery is a life-long journey, and today I’m glad to know that I’m in it.” Ben benefited from seeking help early (click for more recovery stories from the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). It may be hard for people in their early 20s to realize that their substance use is a problem before their family or friends get involved.

Some may even try to abruptly quit using substances as a way to keep things discrete. But even after potentially experiencing highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, they are still faced with a high likelihood of relapse. Hundreds of thousands of young adults struggling with addiction have benefited from treatment on their journey to recovery.

If you or someone you know is having problems with substance abuse and needs professional help, use the link below to learn more about our services at Emory Healthcare Addiction Service.


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