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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Unprecedented Surge in Binge Drinking and Marijuana Use Among Middle-Aged Adults

According to studies conducted with NIH funding, binge drinking reached an all-time high among individuals aged 35-50 in 2022. According to a recent research, binge drinking among this demographic reached about 30% in 2022, continuing a long-term rising trend. Twenty-three percent of individuals in this category binge drank in 2012.

The percentage of people who reported using marijuana within this demographic hit an all-time high in 2016, rising to 28% from 13% in 2012. Hallucinogen use among people in this demographic doubled between 2021 and 2022, from 2% to 4%.

The study also included questions on the responses of people aged 19 to 30. The percentage of this demographic that reported using marijuana in 2022 was 44%, up considerably from 28% in 2012. While 30.5% still admitted to binge drinking in the last month, the number is down from 35.2% a decade ago.

There is a wide range in drug usage among generations. According to Megan Patrick, a research professor at the University of Michigan and the primary investigator on the project known as Monitoring the Future, “drug use trends evolve over decades and across development, from adolescence to adulthood.”

Since 1975, the N.I.H.’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has funded this study. Research on the habits of middle and high school students with regard to substance abuse is NIDA’s main focus. However, the study also tracks participants throughout time to examine their histories with drug abuse.

Dr. Patrick emphasised the need of monitoring the situation so that public health workers and communities could be ready to react.

What kinds of drugs tend to be popular among a certain generation might have far-reaching effects. For example, a recent research indicated that the mortality toll from alcohol use among those aged 65 and over was growing, with the rate of rise being higher for women than for males.

The findings imply that generational culture and the legal status of drugs at different points in one’s life have a significant impact on drug use behaviour. For example, only 68% of individuals between the ages of 35 and 50 said they had smoked marijuana at some point in their lives.

In a press statement, NIDA head Nora Volkow noted that these and similar studies provide important information that may help health authorities and people better handle hazards at various stages of life. Dr. Volkow emphasised the need of ensuring that individuals of all ages have access to up-to-date information to assist them make educated choices about drug usage.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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