faces of drug addicts

The Changing Faces of Drug Addicts

We may not admit it, but we all have a stereotypical view of drug addicts and alcoholics. If someone asked you to draw a picture of an addict, you’d probably come up with a bum living under the bridge with a needle in his arm. These figures do exist, but there is more to addiction than that as the faces of drug addicts are different. These past few years have changed who we think addicts are — and the people who struggle with substance abuse and addiction are the ones you may least suspect.

Drug Addicts: All Different Shapes & Sizes

Only a few years ago, the “poster children” for addiction used to be poor, mid-30s, urban, and ethnic minority. Now, the new faces of drug addicts are wealthy, old, suburban, and white. And it’s all due to one huge factor: not street drugs but prescription drugs.

The New Age of Drug Addiction

Drug addicts are getting older. Why is this? Today’s retiring population (the “baby boomers”) are more medicated than any other retirees before them. Thirty percent take five or more prescription medications per day, and many get hooked on those medications. About 20 percent of seniors struggle with abuse or addiction. And what’s more is that their drug problems often go undetected because people already expect them to be slow, forgetful, etc.

The New Gender of Drug Addiction

Women are increasingly abusing prescription drugs. In particular, stay-at-home mothers are abusing stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin. This hidden problem has existed for decades, and it continues as mothers feel the pressures of homemaking, child-rearing, etc. Many also feel insecure and use stimulants to boost their metabolisms and lose weight. Although stimulants can be safely used to treat ADHD in children, there should be no doubt that they are both dangerous and addictive when abused.

The New Social Class of Drug Addiction

Neither does addiction discriminate by “social class.” It’s not a poor, inner-city, ethnic minority problem. In fact, it’s not this group that has been hugely affected by painkiller abuse and addiction. More upper-class, suburban, white addicts have died from painkiller overdoses than any other demographic. And the ones who haven’t died are crossing over into heroin addiction…yet another drug that has been thought of as an “underclass” narcotic.

Call Us Today for a Free Assessment

If you or someone you love would like to learn more about addiction treatment or dual-diagnosis support, Drug Treatment Center Finder is here to help. Call us now at 1-855-619-8070 to receive a free consultation and assessment. One phone call can begin your journey to a life of lasting health and happiness.