It would seem that times have really changed. New research showed that young Americans are making a healthier option, and that is, they are not drinking alcohol like they used to.

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics revealed that the number of college-age Americans who are showing aversion towards alcoholic drinks has increased as compared to previous numbers. Between 2002 and 2018, there was an increase in the number of adults aged 18 to 22 who opted not to drink. From the usual 20 percent, the number increased to 28 percent for those who are in college. The number was also higher for those who are not in school. So from 24 percent, the number increased to 30 percent.

Sean Esteban McCabe, the lead author of the study and the director of the University of Michigan School of Nursing's Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking, and Health stated that they are encouraged by the decrease of alcohol use among those who are in college and those who are not in school.

The study did not specify though the possible reasons why there was a decrease in alcohol consumption. The researchers, however, suggested that the increase might be brought about by the increasing number of young Americans who live with their parents. They also credited efforts directed towards intervention and alcohol prevention.

It would also seem that the decrease in drinking activities was not only observed in America but also in the UK. Binge drinking and associated risky behaviours are now less prevalent in the UK as compared to previous researches. There were just 18 percent non-drinkers in 2005, but this number increased to 29 percent in 2015. Those who indulge in binge drinking saw a decrease in number as well. From 27 percent, recent data showed that it is now only 18 percent.

Ty Schepis, co-author of the study and Texas State University professor of psychology, stated that one of the bothersome things they saw in the research is that there is a rise in the co-use of marijuana and alcohol.

Young Woman Drinking
More young people are drinking less alcohol. Photo: Pixabay

With such an appalling number especially in the use of substances, the researchers suggest that US policymakers must try to find ways to address behaviours of young adults, offering support for those who steer clear of alcohol and providing more intervention efforts for those who use marijuana, etc.