Just as the typically conjured image of an alcoholic is a trench-coat-wearing hobo nestled under a bridge with a brown paper bag, the unacquainted mind tends to imagine an AA member as a crotchety old man with a black coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other. What with the ever-increasing number of young men and women entering recovery, however, the norm of the “recovered alcoholic” is making some major demographic shifts. The typical 12-step fellowship member is currently a 20-25 year old recovering heroin addict, hailing from the east coast (predominantly young men and women from New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, New York, and Philadelphia), and having grown up in a middle-class of affluent suburban community. Many young adults initially have difficulty with accepting the idea of sobering up based on the misconceived notion that those in recovery are all much older – whiskey-drinking, leathery old men in sports coats and wine-guzzling soccer moms desperately trying to uphold their facades with matted gallons of Aqua Net and expensive summer dresses.
The Age of an Addict Does Not Indicate His or Her Need of Treatment
This misinterpretation prevents many young adults in desperate need of treatment from seeking it. They may believe that they are too young to quit drinking and drugging, that because others in the program are so much older, they clearly still have quite a few good years ahead of them. The major flaw in this delusional theory comes with the fact that these days, kids are starting out much harder much faster. There are drugs on the market that didn’t even exist back when old-timers were actively using. Heroin was around, but it was not nearly as big a problem as it is today. Very few people were snorting or smoking painkillers back in the day, and even fewer were dabbling in synthetic drug use. The amount of adolescents and young adults losing their lives to drug-related overdose on a daily basis in current times is sickening, and far exceeds the number of older adults losing their lives to complications related to alcoholism (though this number is still extremely significant).
There Is No “Right Age” To Get Sober
There is no age limit on sobriety – if your life has become unmanageable and you are powerless over drugs and alcohol, you are likely in need of professional addiction treatment. For a comprehensive list of potential treatment options, please feel free to contact one of our trained representatives today.