Older Americans could use more marijuana in their lives, because a new study finds they are drinking too much.
Researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a federal health council, found that people over the age of 60 are consuming more alcoholic beverages than they were two decades ago. These findings, which were published in the latest issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, shows that the older generation appears to be more hell bent than ever on drinking themselves into an untimely grave.
An examination of 145,000 responses from the National Health Interview Survey from 1997 to 2014 found a steady increase in the number of people who are now hitting the bottle. Traditionally, men have been more likely to be die-hard boozehounds than their females counter parts, but the most recent analysis shows women are not far from catching up.
“The prevalence of drinking has been higher in older men than in older women,” lead study author Rosalind Breslow told CNN. “It still is, but the gender gap has been narrowing over approximately the past two decades.”
The study found that roughly 54 percent of men and 38 percent of women over the age of 60 claimed to be “current drinkers” back in the late nineties. By the time 2014 rolled around, both group’s booze-soaked endeavors experienced a significant increase.
Now, nearly 60 percent of men and 48 percent of women drink at least 12 alcoholic beverages a year, the report shows.
Sadly, the binge drinking mentality among the older demographic is spiraling out of control. Both groups are now engaging in this risky behavior more than ever before, the report found.
Although the majority of the discussion today surrounds how marijuana might help tame the opioid epidemic, there is some evidence that shows medicinal cannabis can also be used as a substitute for booze.
A study of California medical marijuana patients published in a 2009 edition of the Harm Reduction Journal found that around half of these people were using pot to stop drinking in excess. The study was later replicated twice—each time coming up with similar results.
It is also worth mentioning that marijuana has been proven to be much safer choice than alcohol.
The latest data from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows that booze claims the lives of around 88,000 people every year, but marijuana has never killed a single person.