The College Post
The College Post -- Covering Higher Education in America

Almost 30 Percent of College Goers Abstains From Alcohol: Study

Nearly 30 percent of US adults aged 18 to 22 said they don’t drink liquor, a fall of seven percent over the last two decades, a new study based on a survey of almost 183,000 respondents found.

The number of college-goers who abstained from liquor increased from 20 to 28 percent in the same period while the number of young adults who abstained and are not in college also increased from 23.6 to 29.9 percent.

In the same period, the study said, the number of those who said they abuse alcohol fell by 50 percent.

“We’re encouraged by the significant decreases in alcohol use disorder–for both college and non-college students,” said lead author Dr. Sean Esteban McCabe, director of the Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health at the University of Michigan School of Nursing.

Increase of Co-Use of Alcohol and Weed

Despite the positives, the study had some negative findings as well. The researches from the University of Michigan and Texas State University found an increase in the number of young adults using marijuana, in addition to co-using alcohol and marijuana. 

In 2018, 31 percent of college students reported using marijuana up from 27 percent in 2002, the data showed, while approximately 1.8 million college students used both substances in 2002 compared to about 2.6 million in 2018.   

Additionally, the study found that 82.9 percent of young adults with prescription drug use disorders and 85.1 percent of young adults with illicit drug use disorder also abused alcohol and/or marijuana.

“Points of concern that deserve more attention are the rise in co-use of alcohol and marijuana, as we know that polysubstance use can have more negative consequences and be more difficult to treat,” said co-author Ty Schepis.