Teenagers Are Getting Drunk Way Less Than Their Parents Used To

Upstaging you yet again

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If you're entering the last week before Christmas in a state of 99 per cent alcohol, a study that claims millennials are drinking less than their predecessors might be hard to believe. But researchers at University of Michigan have discovered that young people now are getting drunk and high less than their parents.

Surveying 45,000 eighth, tenth and 12th grade students in America about their drug, alcohol and nicotine usage they discovered it is the lowest it's been since 1990.

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The sharpest decline was amongst tobacco smokers in the last two decades, where it dropped from 11 per cent smoking half a pack a day in 1991 to only 1.8 percent in 2016. And that doesn't mean everyone has just started vaping instead: E-cigarette use is down from 16 percent in 2015 to just 12 percent this year.

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Marijuana has remained constant for tenth and 12th graders, but declined amongst eighth graders from 11.8 percent in 2015 to 9.4 percent in 2016. Most interestingly, alcohol use and binge drinking declined for all three age groups in the study.

Nora Volko, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, told USA Today.

"There may be a protective effect brought about by the fact that they don't have so many occasions to get together where the use of drugs would be facilitated," he added, "It's wonderful to see, but understanding it will be very important because then we can try to emulate it, be proactive, and try to sustain it."

One reason study authors pointed to for the fall was teens spending more time online rather having fun IRL. Depressing right?

The findings were echoed in an NHS study which found experimentation with alcohol among under-16s is down by two-thirds since 2003, and the number of teens trying out cigarettes has fallen by three quarters.

"We should not underestimate the importance of changes in the nature of childhood," Study researcher Gillian Prior told The Times, "Changes in technology and society mean that teenagers spend their time in a very different way compared to 15 years ago."