US Adolescents Giving Up on Alcohol to Smoke Cannabis

Lifestyle News - US Adolescents Giving Up on Alcohol to Smoke Cannabis

By all accounts, alcohol consumption among young adults (those aged 18–22) is decreasing; better yet, approximately ¼ of them don’t consume alcohol at all. Good news, right? 

Wrong!

Apparently, cannabis has taken center stage when it comes to young people.

At Texas State University, researchers have studied young adult substances for more than a decade to uncover the extent of use based on age. In collaboration with the University of Michigan, the University of Central Florida, and Iowa State University, the team revealed some especially troubling results.

Namely, binge-drinking is not as popular as it used to be — around 30% of 18–22-year-olds reported not having an alcoholic drink in 2018 (a significant decrease compared to 2002 when fewer than 25% reported doing so).

However, what concerned researchers the most was the fact that the number of young adults that smoked cannabis at least once over the course of a year has increased by 4% (from 33% to 37%). Likewise, the majority of those who reported using cannabis confirmed using alcohol as well. The only possible conclusion — individuals who used to only drink alcohol started to consume cannabis as well. 

Whatever the case, such a surge might drastically increase the need for substance abuse treatment in the near future. To make matters worse, younger generations exhibit higher rates of illegal substance abuse overall — including cocaine and prescription drugs such as anxiolytics.

How coronavirus has made an impact is yet to be seen.