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Millennials and Gen Z turning to nonalcoholic beer and cocktails
Mar 19 2019

Millennials and Gen Z turning to nonalcoholic beer and cocktails

Addiction Teen Alcohol Addiction

The sales of cocktails and low alcohol content beer is seeing an all-time high, declared a recently published report in an international daily. As per the report, while the overall beer sales remained mostly flat at 0.2 percent, the sales of beers with low alcohol content have increased by around 3.9 percent on an average since the last 5 years. Citing a 2018 GlobalData report, another news website stated that beverages with low percentage of alcohol are considered to be a burgeoning segment of the beer industry. With Coca Cola introducing a new concept by the name of ‘Bar None’ in 2019, sales of nonalcoholic cocktails are also on the rise.

Several reasons have contributed towards this increase in the sales of drinks with low alcohol percentage. For instance, renowned beer brands have been constantly striving to increase the sales of nonalcoholic beverages in the Middle-East nations, where alcohol is associated with religious and legal baggage and thus banned.

Also, compared to the previous generations, the present generation across the globe is consuming much less alcohol. According to a 2018 report, teens and those in their early 20s are consuming 20 percent less alcohol per unit of population compared to millennials, when they were in the similar age group.

Factors influencing decline in drinking behavior of younger generations

This marked decline in the drinking habit of the younger generation has been linked to multiple factors. One such factor is that the younger generation is more health conscious. Secondly, a lot of them prefer marijuana over alcohol. Thirdly, the younger generation is exercising restraint in the wake of constant social media presence and supervision.

This decline in the drinking pattern of the younger generation suggests a clear shift in their attitude towards alcohol. This can be attributed to the increased awareness regarding the health risks associated with consuming alcohol, as well as changes in the way young people spend their leisure time these days.

Jonny Forsyth, a global food and beverage analyst at a market research firm, Mintel, stated that for today’s young drinkers, control has become a key watchword. He further added that unlike the night-outs of the previous generations, the night-outs of this generation are documented in the form of videos, photos, and social media posts across various platforms where they are likely to remain as evidence for the rest of their lives. Thus this younger generation seeks to avoid over-drinking to maintain their image.

According to Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center in California, before social media existed, shameful actions and behavior of people remained visually undocumented. Thus, it was less likely that the embarrassed individual had to face the consequences of their actions.

Social media responsible for increased accountability

Rutledge said that social media is responsible for increased accountability for one’s actions these days. Considering the fact that the public image of an individual is permanent on social media platforms, people like to control the same. In the present day, shameful moments or actions are not just moments, but are public posts with no cover and hence no possibility of damage control.

Thus the decline in the drinking behavior of the younger generation can be seen as a large cultural paradigm shift brought about by the constant supervision over social media platforms, which has become a norm for the present generation. This generation has also internalized the all-pervading social media supervision by molding their behaviors and their virtual avatars, keeping in mind that they may be judged by anyone, anytime.

This assumption of the younger generation is correct to a large extent. To corroborate this fact, two popular publications reported that the police department in Chicago is working closely with the public-school system to analyze and survey any probable illegal activities of students through social media.

Consequences of underage drinking

Getting addicted to alcohol early in life can have various short- and long-term consequences such as motor impairment, confusion, reduced inhibitions, slurred speech, concentration problems, breathing problems, memory loss, coma, and even death. Some of the other problems associated with underage drinking entail violent and risky behavior, accidents, homicide, and suicide.

Also, if an underage individual consumes alcohol excessively at one time or over a period of time, it can have debilitating consequences on their overall physical health. Some of these include:

  • Disruption of communication pathways of the brain leading to coordination issues and mood swings.
  • Certain cardiac side-effects such as cardiomyopathy (stretching and sagging of the heart muscle), irregular heart beat (arrhythmia), high blood pressure (hypertension), and stroke.
  • Liver disorders like alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis.
  • Weakened immune system making one prone to diseases such as tuberculosis and even pneumonia.
  • Swelling and inflammation of the pancreatic blood vessels eventually leading to pancreatitis.
  • Development of various types of cancers such as those pf the neck, head, liver, esophagus, breast, and colorectal.
  • Changes in an individual’s brain chemistry thereby leading to the development of a mental illness, commonly referred to as dual diagnosis.

The road to recovery from alcoholism

What actually starts as casual, social drinking in teens can gradually assume the form of compulsive alcohol seeking behavior. That is why it is imperative to reexamine social drinking habits of teens and seek help from professional alcohol rehab centers as early as possible, to keep addiction at bay. One of the first steps of treatment for alcohol addiction that is followed at ADEONA Healthcare is an alcohol detox program. Once the detox program gets over, the ensuing treatment commences during which the teens are taught various kinds of coping mechanisms with the help of behavioral and experiential therapies.

ADEONA Healthcare of Rancho San Diego, a much sought-after alcohol addiction treatment center for teens and adolescents aged 12-17 in the U.S., offers evidence-based treatment approaches for treating alcohol abuse in teens. If you know a teen addicted to alcohol and looking for treatment, get in touch with our 24/7 helpline (888) 997-3966 and speak to a representative. You can also chat online with our certified representative to seek related advice and avail customized world-class alcohol detox treatment at our teen alcohol addiction treatment facility.