Dry January or HIGH January? A third of Gen Z adults who give up alcohol this month will use marijuana instead

The shift from the festive season to a non-alcoholic “Dry January” can come as a shock to the system.

That’s why millions of Americans who are abstinent by 2023 are looking for alternatives – the most popular being cannabis.

Research group Civic Science says weed is by far the most prevalent alternative for Gen Z adults — 34 percent of them are using weed or its milder cousin CBD this month.

Other popular alternatives to spice up January include sodas, non-alcoholic beers, wines and cocktails, and kombucha, a fermented tea beverage.

The survey of nearly 1,000 adults comes amid fears of rising cannabis use as more states legalize the drug for adults – leading to more cases of addiction, mental health problems and deaths in car accidents.

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“An impressive 90 percent of participating Gen Z adults enjoy other beverages and substances,” the researchers said.

“A third of the 21-24 age group relies on cannabis/CBD products, significantly outperforming all older age groups.”

Nevertheless, the number of participants in Dry January has decreased this year.

A Morning Consult poll this month found just 15 percent of adults were alcohol-free that month, up from 19 percent in 2022.

This decline was more pronounced in Generation Z adults, with a drop from 19 percent to 13 percent.

Almost all January teetotalers say they’re trying to be healthier — by reducing calories or just feeling better overall.

But after a year of high inflation and shaky financial markets, 73 percent of respondents said they are also drying up to save money.

A Morning Consult poll this month found just 15 percent of adults were alcohol-free that month, up from 19 percent in 2022.

A Morning Consult poll this month found just 15 percent of adults were alcohol-free that month, up from 19 percent in 2022.

Popular ways to spice up dry January include sodas, non-alcoholic beers, wines and cocktails, and kombucha, a fermented tea beverage

Popular ways to spice up dry January include sodas, non-alcoholic beers, wines and cocktails, and kombucha, a fermented tea beverage

opinion poll

What is the best alternative for alcohol in dry January?

  • Cannabis/CBD Products 14 votes
  • Soda/Seltzer Products 1 votes
  • kombucha 1 votes
  • Soft drinks 2 votes
  • Just go straight 7 votes

Non-alcoholic beers, wines, and mocktails cost nearly, and in some cases just as much, as their intoxicating counterparts.

For example, at a popular New York City spot, the “Batak Pepper” mocktail, whose ingredients include “roasted fennel syrup,” costs a staggering $18.50 — the same as the bar’s regular mixed drinks.

They’re cheaper at home. A 12-pack of canned cocktails from the Free AF ​​line is $45 online, or $3.75 per can.

Company founder Lisa King says teetotalers still want a drink that “gives that kick when you drink it and then that warming feeling.”

In comparison, CBD or cannabis gummies only cost a few dollars each.

Morning Consult’s survey of around 2,000 respondents found that Americans are opposed to expensive soft drinks.

Morning Consult's survey of around 2,000 respondents found that Americans are opposed to expensive soft drinks

Morning Consult’s survey of around 2,000 respondents found that Americans are opposed to expensive soft drinks

The number of those wanting to buy mocktails or non-alcoholic beers and wines has fallen by more than half in the past year.

“These drinks are now a much better one-for-one substitute in terms of taste, but they are also increasingly a one-for-one substitute in terms of cost,” the researchers said.

Following successful ballot initiatives in Maryland and Missouri last year, 21 states have legalized adult-use recreational marijuana over the past decade — though it remains illegal under federal law.

Experts have warned of America’s rapid shift to legalized marijuana amid mounting evidence that widespread availability is leading to increased use, particularly among young people, along with addiction and mental health issues.

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) annual survey in August found that the number of under-30s using marijuana hit record highs last year — which the agency’s chief Dr. Nora Volkow, described as “worrying”.

The $30 billion cannabis industry argues that ingesting the drug — either smoked, vaped, or as an edible — can help combat anxiety or depression, chronic pain, and even addiction.

The US Cannabis Council, a major lobby group, says legalization is widely supported, pot is safe, and can help addicts overcome opioid and alcohol addiction.

But in states where cannabis has been legalized, many parents say their children have been sucked into a spiral of addiction.

America’s multi-million dollar legalized cannabis industry is causing an “explosion” of teenage users

Teens in states that have legalized cannabis are using more and are lured to brightly packaged, candy-like products that leave them more vulnerable to higher rates of addiction, psychosis and dropping out of school, researchers warn.

A DailyMail.com analysis of research focusing on California, Massachusetts, Nevada and other states that have legalized recreational cannabis shows experts are warning of a “potential explosion” in underage use — and that more teens are using it consume than in states where it is illegal.

Renee Goodwin, a psychiatric and drug use epidemiologist who leads the research at Columbia University, says teen cannabis use is increasing at a faster rate after legalization

Renee Goodwin, a psychiatric and drug use epidemiologist who leads the research at Columbia University, says teenage cannabis use is increasing at a faster rate after legalization

Alarmed at the weak oversight of a $30 billion deal, they warn of a free market selling super-potent cannabis products in cartoon-covered packaging that attracts youth, even as tobacco and alcohol companies are barred from hosting teenagers.

Data from the 19 states that have legalized recreational cannabis over the past decade, as well as the 38 states that have legalized medicinal use, show that teens and young adults there are more likely to use stronger products.

Not every teen who eats a pot gummy sees their life unravel. But they are more prone to addiction and dependency than adults, and greater availability and use means more cases of anxiety, depression, psychosis, and even suicide.

In November, voters in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota will decide whether to liberalize their own cannabis laws — and funnel unexpected cannabis industry taxes into the coffers.

“Cannabis use is more prevalent among youth and adults in states where recreational cannabis use is legal,” Renee Goodwin, who leads the research at Columbia University, told DailyMail.com.

“Legalization has moved from a social justice issue to the other extreme of big business commercialization without the same restrictions that tobacco and alcohol must now follow.”

Mary Maas, 57, of Washington, who legalized weed in 2012, told DailyMail.com how her son Adam, 26, fell into a devastating addiction to super-potent pot products, worlds apart from the “Woodstock weed” she latches on to remembered from the 1960s.

Now she’s looking at the potent oils, vapes, dabs, drinks and gummies being sold in a growing number of dispensaries, as well as the down-and-outs living in tents under Seattle’s I-5 freeway, and demands other states to heed Washington’s lessons.

“You better watch out,” she said.

Adam Maas, 26, with his family in Washington. Mom Mary, 57, describes how her

Adam Maas, 26, with his family in Washington. Mom Mary, 57, describes how her “straight-A student” became addicted to super-potent cannabis products and ended up delusional, unemployed and a poor sleeper in Seattle

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11644613/Dry-January-HIGH-January-Gen-Z-adults-skipping-booze-month-use-pot-instead.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Dry January or HIGH January? A third of Gen Z adults who give up alcohol this month will use marijuana instead

Emma Colton

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