Millennials & Addiction

Olympia House knows the importance of getting to know our clients on an individual level. We appreciate everything that our clients can bring to the table in order to design an evidence-based treatment plan that will help them on their journey towards healing.

Millennials face many challenges, including a frustrating cycle of debt, problems in their psychological health, and a world seemingly full of problems. However, younger adults are also incredibly resilient and are currently rethinking work, healthcare, and the political climate in spectacular ways.

We understand the complex relationship between your generation and addiction. As part of our philosophy, we believe in sharing our knowledge as practitioners with you in order to ensure a lasting recovery.

Why Are Millennials So Depressed?

With one in five millennials experiencing depression, it’s clear it’s not easy being in generation Y. With depression and addiction being the most linked co-occurring disorders, it’s easy to see why many millennials have been becoming dependent on various substances.

The Cycle of Millennial Financial Hardship

Probably the most difficult struggle the younger adult tackles is the cost of living. With 46% of millennials in credit card debt and 36% in education-related debt, financial burdens may bear down on them causing depression.

Similarly, most college majors or concentrations are not returning jobs that pay off debt. In result, many millennials find themselves in jobs they’re not well-suited to. These jobs do not pay commensurately with their abilities. Barely able to pay back their debt, they can’t afford to save for a future retirement, marriage, or family. They also may not even be able to afford the rent in their city.

This cycle is seemingly impossible to break. It leaves millennials emotionally and financially strapped. With the “lack of future” being one of the leading reported emotions associated with both addiction and depression, it’s not surprising that younger adults are often diagnosed with both of these disorders in high numbers.

The Millennial’s Struggle Between Hopelessness and Change

Nevertheless, despite an ongoing sense that there isn’t a future, millennials do their best to combat their symptoms of depression. Millennials are consuming fitness, mindfulness, and health-food related services at greater rates than the previous generation.

Millennials also strive for more flexible, diverse, and empathetic workplaces. We know your journey into treatment is fueled by your fight against the discouraging forces you may perceive around you.

The Millennial History with Addiction: ADHD, Anxiety, and Fentanyl

Millennials found themselves in a world where psychiatry was not caught up with current times. These led to some practitioners at times being too quick to prescribe addictive medications instead of working on the complex underlying conditions of their patients. We know now there are several underlying causes of addictions to fentanyl, adderall, marijuana, and alcohol that are related to the generational problems the younger adult faces.


In 2013, 6.4 million American children were diagnosed with ADHD. Some children became dependent on adderall and other stimulants to function on a day to day basis. Because so many were diagnosed, this lead to a high availability of adderall to buy illegally. Drugs that were less expensive to make which also had similar effects to adderall (such as methamphetamines) were seen as cheap alternatives to buying illegal adderall. Tragically, these chemicals are highly addictive and extremely destructive to health.


Anxiety is also a huge elephant in the room for millennials. With 12% of millennials diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, self-medication can occur. The dreamlike effects of opioids, as well as their widespread availability, has contributed to the opioid epidemic. With fentanyl over-prescribed and ten times more powerful than heroin, it only contributes to the crisis. Similarly, dependence on the calming psychological effects of marijuana can result in addiction and brain damage.


When millennials are feeling overwhelmed with the burden of political, ecological, and financial challenges they are likely to become depressed. With alcoholism a disorder most likely to co-occur with depression, many of this generation turn to drinking in order to forget. Marijuana and painkiller prescription abuse are also linked to this mental disorder.

Contact us now for prescription drug addiction rehab.

Brain Development

Outside of the struggle of the times, the brains of younger adults are in many ways are not fully formed. With the part of the brain responsible for inhibition, the prefrontal cortex, still developing, millennials may think that they won’t get addicted to a substance if they try it once, or that their habit won’t result in damage to their health. CBT and DBT can help restructure thinking to create more sustainable habits.

The Millennial Approach to Health

Blurring Lines Between Reactive And Preventative Care

In healthcare, often the most money is made at the point of crisis, such as the huge amount of money necessary for a hospital visit when health care is immediately needed and can’t be put off any longer. Previously, preventative medicine— creating healthy habits that would stop this crisis from happening to begin with – went under the radar. However, millennials are celebrating this approach. Though they have delayed 54% of doctors visits due to costs, they are more likely to live a philosophy of day-to-day health. This includes a focus on self-care, health food, exercise, and mindfulness.

At Olympia House, we share this vision with you. As part of our philosophy, we embrace a holistic view that prevents addiction by treating its underlying causes.

Younger Adults’ Needs In The Context Of Treatment

We strive to incorporate the millennials’ values into our residence experience at Olympia House. Here are three ways we are doing just that;

  1. We offer flexible outpatient programs that allow you to focus on your treatment while being able to enjoy your work and social life as well.
  2. We offer mindfulness-based activities, as well as focus on physical wellness.
  3. Finally, we offer medication-assisted treatment to help with your recovery and detox.

We know the challenges you face in this generation can be overwhelming. But we know you have the skills that will also change our world for the better. Don’t let addiction mask them. We’re near you. Call Olympia House at (888) 795-1965.