A recent study suggests a decline in teen binge drinking follows the passage of adult-use cannabis laws, but researchers also noted an increase in binge drinking among adults 31 and older. The study, “Recreational cannabis legislation and binge drinking in U.S. adolescents and adults,” used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2008-2019.
The researchers found that, during that period, binge drinking declined overall among people aged 12-20 (17.54% to 11.08%), and those aged 21-30 (43.66% to 40.22%), but binge drinking increased among people 31 and older: 28.11% to 33.34% among people 31-40; 25.48% to 28.32% among those ages 41-50; and 13.28% to 16.75% among those 51 and older.
However, binge drinking habits among people aged 12-20 fell 4.8% after the passage of adult-use cannabis laws.
The researchers note that “the current evidence regarding the association between recreational cannabis laws and binge drinking remains limited to data from a few states, small study samples and one prior U.S. national study using Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data” and that their study “builds on existing literature by using nationally representative data to investigate the potential effects of the changing cannabis policy landscape in all age groups using a comprehensive measure of state alcohol policies to control for differences in state contexts.” (Full Story)