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How Drug Addiction Varies At Different Ages

Studies have shown that the effects of drugs vary in different age groups. Aging can lead to several changes in your physical health, which may increase your vulnerability to substance abuse and developing an addiction. Also, addiction can affect the mental health of an aging person if they aren’t introduced to preventive measures and offered suboxone treatments to overcome the addiction.

Drug Abuse and The Age Factor

Addiction usually develops early, with young adults and teenagers having the highest addiction rates among other age groups. Drug addiction resulting from prescription medicine abuse has grown more common in higher age groups, particularly the elderly and middle-aged adults. The kind of substance abused can vary depending on the age of a person. Early-onset drug use may also result in a higher risk of psychological issues, problematic behavior patterns, and several disorders.

Drug Addiction in Different Ages

Adolescent Drug Addiction

This group includes the ages 12–17. The rate of drug addiction in adolescence in the country is alarmingly high. According to statistics, about 13 percent of 8th graders, 30 percent of 10th graders, and about 40 percent of 12th graders misuse prescription drugs. Marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco are the most commonly used in this age group.


Adolescents who have experienced interpersonal violence, such as physical or sexual traumas, are more likely to take substances. Other mental diseases, such as bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety disorder, are also linked to substance misuse and abuse in this age group.

Young Adults Drug Addiction

This group includes the ages 18–25. According to studies, 1 in every 10 young adults in the US is a heavy drinker. Also, 1 in every 7 young adults misuses substances or has a drug addiction. The most commonly used drugs in this age group are marijuana, opioids, and heroin.


The main reasons for the prevalence of drug addiction in this age group are an increase in life’s challenges and peer pressure. Young adults start using substances to cope with their changing social environment and deal with new responsibilities.

Adults Drug Addiction

This group includes the ages of 25 and over. About 38 percent of the total number of adults in the US are addicted to an illicit drug. 1 out of 8 adults in the country struggle with addiction to alcohol and other kinds of drugs. People in this age group often tend to abuse alcohol, heroin, and prescription drugs.


People who develop an addiction as a young adult might continue to be addicted later in life. Other reasons may include lack of social relationships, financial issues, and fear of missing out (FOMO) on life.

Elderly Drug Addiction

The dependency on prescription drugs may be the biggest reason for addiction in this age. Other kinds of addictions include alcohol abuse and the use of tobacco. Post-retirement crises, empty nest syndrome, the death of a spouse, a diminished social circle, loneliness, or chronic health issues may be some reasons for the prevalence of elderly addiction.Get our help to overcome your opioid and heroin addiction with suboxone treatment in Maryland. MD MATT is a suboxone clinic that acquires services from the top suboxone doctors in Frederick, MD. We offer heroin addiction treatment medications and a comprehensive set of treatments to bring you back to healthy living. Contact us to get in touch with a qualified professional today!