drug addiction: new study finds more young people aged 16-25 are turning to drugs to escape real-life problems and cope with emotional distress

After Covid-19 restrictions ended, illegal drug use among young people soared in the UK. According to a new study, there has been a 50% increase in the number of young people taking mind-altering substances since 2021.

A new study by youth charity The Mix has found that one in three young people between the ages of 16 and 25 now use drugs.

The Mix is ​​the UK’s leading digital under-25 charity, reaching over 6 million young people each year.

The proportion of young people smoking tobacco or cigarettes in the past year has also increased to nearly 1 in 3 (29%) from 1 in 5 (22%) young 1/3 in 2021, the study adds.

Speaking of mind-altering drugs, the study showed that 17% of young people have used a class A drug in the past 12 months, which equates to 1.3 million young people. Compared to 2021, the figures for this year are much higher.

Besides the number of people using drugs, the frequency of drug use has also increased significantly since 2021.

According to the research, only 16% of young people used drugs at least once a week in 2021, but this figure rose to 23% in 2022.

The study further revealed the reason for the increase in drug use among young people. According to the data, 1 in 5 drug addicts now take drugs or alcohol to escape problems in their life, and a growing number of people are experiencing difficulties due to substance use and need support.

“However, societal attitudes related to substance use and addiction, lack of awareness of available services or the belief that there are not appropriate services available prevent many people from seeking help. As a result, hundreds of thousands of young people are suffering in silence instead of seeking help,” the study says.

The results of the study suggest that more and more young people are using substances to help them cope with the problems in their lives.

“Our data shows that while fewer young people are currently using substances for fun, there has been a large increase in substance use to escape from problems, with 1 in 5 addicts doing so,” the study said.

However, the temporary fix does not actually make their problems go away in real life and when young people realize this, they find it extremely difficult to break the habit.

Meanwhile, a similar percentage of young people also use substances to help them cope with a mental health issue or emotional distress.

According to the research, “alarmingly, the proportion of young people taking substances as a habit, which is indicative of addiction, nearly tripled, from 5% in 2021 to 14% in 2022.”

Likely related to the higher frequency of drug use, a much larger proportion of substance users reported experiencing difficulties due to substance use (56%), and particularly with their mental health (22% ).


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