A new study has found that more young Americans are choosing to avoid alcohol than those in the same age group did nearly two decades ago.
“We’re encouraged by the significant decreases in alcohol use disorder — for both college and non-college students,” Sean Esteban McCabe, director of the Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and lead author of the study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics shared, per CNN.
Between 2002 and 2018, the number of adults age 18 to 22 in the US who abstained from drinking alcohol increased from 20% to 28% for those in college. https://t.co/QwxN14EV3U
— CNN (@CNN) October 12, 2020
The study found that adults ages 18-22 in the United States have decided to abstain from drinking alcohol by more than 20 percent. (RELATED: Beer Brewed To ‘Celebrate’ All Things ‘Progressive’ Taken Off Shelf Over Racist Look)
College bound kids who have opted not to drink has gone from from 20% to 28%. And for those not in school the percentage of youth not drinking went from 24% in 2002 to 30% in 2018. The study was created with a sample conducted from 182,722 adults ages 18 to 22 years.
According the report:
Although drinking by people under the age of 21 is illegal in the US, people ages 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States, according to the CDC.
As the piece noted, there was no conclusion in the study as to why there was a change, but it suggested that the drop in alcohol use could be from “alcohol prevention and intervention efforts” directed at college kids.
However, the study also found that there has been an increase in young adults “misusing several different substances” rather than just alcohol or marijuana, per the outlet.
Researchers concluded that US policy makers need to “find ways to address the changing landscape of substance use behaviors by providing support to the increasing number of young adults who are abstinent, while also creating interventions to address the increases in marijuana use and co-use of alcohol and marijuana.”