Research & Resources

Young Adult Alcohol and Marijuana Use Varies by Calendar Month

This study examined variation in alcohol and marijuana use by month among a sample of 761 young adults that was diverse with respect to college status and educational attainment. All measures of substance use showed evidence of variation by calendar month. Drinks per week and peak number of drinks were relatively elevated in summer months and in October and December; the prevalence of heavy episodic drinking was also elevated in October and December. Students in a 4-year college reported more drinks per week than those not in a 4-year college in September and October, whereas the peak number of drinks converged across educational status in the summer months and in December. Across educational statuses, marijuana use was highest in April and December. Findings may guide the targeting and timing of substance use prevention programs by focusing efforts before and during higher risk months.

This paper, “Calendar Month Variation in Alcohol and Marijuana Use in a Community Sample of Young Adults,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

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