The rate for suicide has tremendously rose for millennials within the United States and there are many contributions to this devastating trend such as pressure from social media and an increase in drug addiction. Millennials face a different challenge from past generations. The rise of social media has brought a plethora of obstacles such as the pressure to keep up with the social life of one’s peers by obtaining a certain number of followers, likes, and just overall “clout” on these sites. This pressure brings a heavy mental weight on millennials causing them to make radical decisions to acquire the attention they feel they need to be looked at a certain way in society. Millennials will do almost anything to portray a certain lifestyle for social media. Once millennials can not live up to the image they have put out to the world they fall into a depression and that depression is a leading cause to suicide. Jordyn Young, a Research Associate for the University of Pennsylvania, conducted a study on 143 students to establish the link between social media and depression. The students were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One would continue their social media habits as usual while the other would significantly limit their access to social media. According to www.healthline.com , “What we found overall is that if you use social media less, you are actually less depressed and less lonely, meaning that the decreased social media use is what causes that qualitative shift in your well-being.”
In addition, with the pressure of social media most millennials are falling in the sad cycle of drug addiction which is also another rate that has skyrocketed compared to the past generations. Drug addiction is a numbing tool used by millennials to escape to pressures and responsibilities of the real world. Millennials must find another way to cope with the obstacles they have to face in life because drug addiction will do nothing but lead to a life of despair, loneliness, and unhappiness. They have turned their problems over to alcohol, opioids, and harder drugs such as heroin and acid.
According to www.addictioncenter.com , “Over the course of one decade, from 2007 to 2017, the rate of alcohol-related deaths among millennials rose by 69%, the rate of deaths caused by drugs rose by 108%, and the suicide rate rose by 35%. The report also indicates that the opioid epidemic has devastated millennials. From 1999 to 2017, the rate of fatal opioid overdoses among millennials rose by 500% and the rate of fatal overdoses involving synthetic opioids (especially Fentanyl) skyrocketed by 6,000%.”
With these problems facing millennials they are not the only ones to throw blame upon. We must hold the past generation accountable for not providing more stable conditions for millennials to have greater mental health and preventing childhood trauma that leads to a downward spiral in life. Some solutions that can be put into place to fix the trend of suicide rates amongst millennials will be the addition of more drug courts and mental health courts to maintain a social wellbeing and a reduction in screen time on social media apps to escape the pressures of living up to peers. If these procedures are put into place the United States will see a decrease in suicide rates.