Drug Use and Binge Drinking Among Adults 35-50 Reach Record Levels

50 year old man in distress

According to a newly published Monitoring the Future[i] study, marijuana and hallucinogens usage and binge drinking (having 5+ drinks in a row in the past two weeks) reached some of the highest levels ever recorded for U.S. adults ages 35-50 in 2022.

The Monitoring the Future survey is conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. The survey seeks to spot demographic trends in substance use over time.

Younger adults, those 19-30, reported significant increases in marijuana and hallucinogen usage during the study period but decreased binge drinking, continuing a ten-year trend.

The survey also found that men use these substances at higher rates than women – though the gap between the sexes is narrowing.

Here are some key excerpts from the report:

  • Twenty-nine percent (29%) of adults ages 35-50 report past-year binge drinking, representing a significant past-year, five-year, and 10-year increase.
  •  Men had a higher prevalence than women among young adults ages 19 to 30 and midlife adults ages 35 to 50 for alcohol use in the past 30 days, binge drinking in the past two weeks, vaping nicotine in the past 30 days, and use of any drug other than marijuana in the past 12 months and past 30 days.
  • Men had a higher prevalence among midlife adults ages 35 to 50, but not for young adults ages 19 to 30, for marijuana use in the past 12 months and past 30 days.
  • Trends over time showed that sex differences have been narrowing for marijuana use (since about 2010), alcohol use (since about 1994), and binge drinking (since about 1989) among young adults.

One positive finding – past year use of sedatives and the recreational use of opioid medications (“narcotics other than heroin”) showed a 10-year decline for both age groups. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. And we come to you, regardless of where you live. Our unique in-home treatment model of care gives clients a significantly better chance of recovery than traditional inpatient rehab care. Please get in touch with one of our Recovery Specialists to learn more

[i] https://monitoringthefuture.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/mtfpanel2023.pdf