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Middle-aged adults are binge drinking, using marijuana at record highs, report finds

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  • Staff Report 

A recent study from the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future (MTF) panel indicates that U.S. middle-aged adults, aged 35 to 50, are indulging in binge drinking and using marijuana and hallucinogens at unprecedented levels.


The data, which was gathered from April to October last year, highlighted that binge drinking had surged to the “highest prevalence … ever recorded for this age group.” Furthermore, marijuana use in this demographic more than doubled from a decade ago, with 28% confirming they used the drug. In contrast, younger adults, aged 19 to 30, witnessed a sharp uptick in marijuana use and nicotine vaping over the past five years, reaching their peak recorded levels.


The MTF panel study, an annual survey sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, assesses substance use behaviors and attitudes in adults ranging from 19 to 60 years old. Based on data from approximately 28,500 participants, about 44% of young adults admitted to marijuana use in the past year, a significant jump from 28% ten years prior. The survey also found that nicotine vaping among young adults nearly doubled in five years, while binge drinking in the middle-aged cohort saw an increase from 23% in 2012 to 29% in 2022.



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