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Gallup Poll Finds Decrease in Alcohol Consumption Among Young Adults as Marijuana Use Increases

Fewer young adults are drinking alcohol as more embrace marijuana and shun the health risks of intoxicating fluids, according to a recent Gallup poll. Among adults under 35 who responded to the survey, 62% said they had ever imbibed alcohol, down from 72% two decades ago.

The survey also found that young adults reported less frequent drinking and were less likely to consume excessive amounts of alcohol than in the past. The average number of drinks per week for the 18-34 age group fell from 5.2 in 2001-2003 to 3.6 in 2021-2023.

Overall, 61% of young adults reported having a drink in the past week, down from 67% in 2001-2003. Gallup estimated that the share of young adults who consume too much alcohol fell from 21% to 13% over the same period.

Pollsters attribute this trend to a larger share of non-Whites in the age group, who traditionally drink less, and growing health concerns about alcohol among young people. The rising popularity of marijuana use among younger generations is also a factor.

On the other hand, the percentage of drinkers among adults aged 55 and older increased by 10 points in the poll, jumping from 49% to 59% over the past 20 years. The share of drinkers aged 35 to 54 also increased from 67% to 69% over the same period.

Gallup noted that marijuana use increased from 14% of young adults in 2013 to 25% in 2021-2023. It’s possible that young marijuana users are using it as a replacement for alcohol.

The Gallup poll was conducted through a randomized national telephone survey of over 1,000 people from each age group between 2021 and 2023.

It’s interesting to see the shift in alcohol consumption among young adults and the increasing acceptance of marijuana use. This could be attributed to a variety of factors, including changing social norms, increased awareness of the health risks associated with alcohol, and the legalization and normalization of marijuana in many states. It’s important to continue monitoring these trends and understanding their potential implications for public health and society as a whole.

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