Alcoholism and drug abuse don’t necessarily begin at any age, though certain age groups are more at risk than others.
The teenage years are often when many people begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol, especially since they are readily available at just about any high school. Many teens go to parties where drugs and alcohol are present, or they may have friends who do drugs and alcohol and can eventually influence them to try it as well.
For many teenagers, while the occasional use of drugs and alcohol is a problem in the eyes of parents, schools, and law enforcement, they are often not addicted yet. Unfortunately, you don’t need to be physically or emotionally addicted for one time use to have devastating consequences, such as fatal car accidents due to drunk driving or drug use as we often see on the news.
Most of the drug addicts I know didn’t really begin to have the symptoms of addiction until their 20′s. Some managed to continue through college while drinking large amounts or doing drugs between classes, many dropped out in their freshman and sophomore years because feeding their addiction became more of a priority than getting an education.
It is safe to say that most people develop the habits that lead to addiction sometime between the ages of 15 and 23. But addiction can still affect anyone at any age. There are many 40, 50, and even 60 year olds just entering alcohol recovery programs for the first time. Some at these ages have attempted quitting before, but addiction is tough to beat permanantly unless someone completely vows to abstain from alcohol.
Today’s question to our readers is a simple one: how old were you when you first started using drugs or alcohol? If you no longer use drugs or alcohol, how old were you when you realized you had a problem?