Research & Resources

Recreational Cannabis Legislation and Binge Drinking in U.S. Adolescents and Adults

In this study, researchers used National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data (2008–2019) to examine trends in the prevalence of past-month binge drinking by age groups (12–20, 21–30, 31–40, 41–50, and 51+). Researchers then compared model-based prevalences of past-month binge drinking before and after recreational cannabis laws (RCLs) by age group. The study showed that binge drinking declined overall from 2008–2019 among people ages 12–20 (from 17.54 percent to 11.08 percent), and people ages 21–30 (from 43.66 percent to 40.22 percent). No RCL-related changes were noted in respondents ages 21–30. However, implementation of RCLs was associated with increased past-month binge drinking in adults ages 31 and older. The researchers advised that as the cannabis legislative landscape continues to change in the U.S., efforts to minimize harms related to binge drinking are critical.

This paper, “Recreational cannabis legislation and binge drinking in U.S. adolescents and adults,” was funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) and published in the International journal of drug policy.

Link to full item