Why Do Drug & Alcohol Addiction Rates Increase in the Summer?

Now that the weather is warming up and summer is officially here, everyone is planning on how they will spend their holidays, time off from college, and long, warm nights. For addiction treatment centers around the country, though, the summer season means preparing for a noticeable increase in client calls. Year after year, substance abuse and alcohol addiction rises during the summer, as if the hotter months cause causes overindulgence. What is the cause behind the seasonal increase in substance abuse, especially among young adults?

Social Gatherings Are Often Paired with Alcohol

The root appears to be a general increase in the number of parties and get-togethers people plan during the summer. At the average party, there is almost guaranteed to be a surplus of alcohol, as well as an excess of peer pressure to partake. Young adults in college are already acutely aware of societal judgements and expectations, and a party setting only heightens their anxiety and the feeling of needing to “fit in”. Trying to turn to a close friend for support will often fail, as the worst peer pressure comes from the people we know, not strangers. As more and more summer evenings pass, it becomes all the more likely that a previous-non-drinker has started to consume alcohol regularly.

The problem becomes more apparent when considered the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) definition of binge drinking, a dangerous form of alcohol abuse. Someone is considered to be a binge drinker if they consume four or more drinks in less than 2 hours and do so at least once a month. Consider the frequency of college and university parties, and it is not surprising to find that a majority of young adult students are addicted to alcohol to some degree.

Widespread Drug Use at Music Festivals

All year round, music festivals are hosted to coast-to-coast. But people are more likely to have the time and interest to attend them in the summer.

As it can be ascertained through the consistent notoriety of major music festivals like Coachella, drugs are highly prevalent at such gatherings. Law enforcement agencies have lately taken to increasing patrols at music festivals because they can accurately predict a spike in illegal drug use there. At almost any given moment, you will likely be able to see clouds of marijuana smoke over crowds in front of a stage.

This makes for a precarious situation for young adults in attendance. Just as there is great peer pressure to drink unto excess at college parties, there is the same pressure to use marijuana, narcotics, and other illegal substances at music festivals.

Getting Professional Help to Overcome Addiction

It is important to realize that there is no such thing as a mild addiction to drugs or alcohol. So many people underestimate the strength and rapidity of addiction, only to realize after much hardship that they are dependent on a substance. If you cannot imagine going to a party or festival without consuming alcohol or using a narcotic, then you might be addicted and not know it. You are not alone, though.

At Turning Point, our New Jersey rehabilitation facilities have been helping individuals confront drug and alcohol addiction since 1975. We provide a wide variety of treatment programs to address your unique needs and expectations. Everyone who comes to our doors to find a better tomorrow is provided a personalized treatment plan and shown utmost respect at all times.

Call 973.380.0905 or contact us online to get started on your path to recovery.


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