While the media is always the first to make incendiary claims suggesting that teens are more damaged now than ever, statistics show that, when it comes to drugs and alcohol, they’re doing pretty well. In fact, the decrease in drug and alcohol use has been so steady recently that researchers don’t know what to make of it.
Statistics from Australia claim that alcohol consumption is at it’s lowest point since the 1960s and that it’s all due to teens becoming less interested in drinking. Since the mid 2000’s there’s been a steady decline among alcohol use in teens. From 2004 to 2014, teens between the ages of 16 and 17 dropped their alcohol use from 48 percent to 33 percent. Follow-ups on teens as they age suggest that they’re maintaining these lifestyle choices, with young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 dropping their alcohol consumption rates from 32 percent to 22 percent.
While the previous stats were limited to one country, other researches from different areas of the world are reporting similar findings, suggesting that it’s a global trend. In Europe and North America, teens are consuming less alcohol on a weekly basis than they used to in previous years, and they’re not running towards cannabis and tobacco either. Despite the fact that cannabis is more accepted than ever before, use is still dropping among teens. According to a study, tobacco is a big contributing factor. Truth commercials and other advertisements have made it their mission to target teens and to highlight the perils of smoking. It seems like younger generations are finally reaping the benefits of all that hard work.
This trend, along with a switch into a more health-oriented way of living, has affected all of us. But it’s hit teens hardest, perhaps because social media affects them so deeply; Instagram, Snapchat, and other sites provide a source of distraction, making teens focus on other things and changing they way in which they’re socializing and interacting with the world. We’ll have to wait a few years to know what that means longterm.