Drug Use Declines With Age? Think Again.

09/24/18 11:33AM EDT

Editor's Note: Below is an interesting excerpt from a recent institutional research note written by our Demography analyst Neil Howe. To access his research email sales@hedgeye.com.

Drug Use Declines With Age? Think Again. - zpo8

As risk-taking Xers and Boomers continue to move into older age brackets, they are undermining the long-observed notion that drug use declines with age. Fully 6.7% of 55- to 64-year-olds use marijuana on a monthly basis, higher than the share of 12- to 17-year-olds who do so (6.4%).

Back in the late 1960s and '70s, there were virtually no illegal substances that junior and high-school students were not using at much higher rates than their "square" Greatest Generation parents pushing age 60.

For those too young to recall: Imagine a slightly older and less flappable version of Red in "That Seventies Show."

Drug Use Declines With Age? Think Again. - zro

Today, we see the reverse.

There are very few illegal substances that school-age teens are not using at lower rates than their first-wave Xer parents--everything from cocaine and meth to tranquilizers and opioids.

And, yes, that includes marijuana, the use of which among teens in school has been declining over the past decade. (See: "Annual Demographics Outlook.")

Older generations may be ready to turn pot into a booming legal industry, but apparently they're stricter about preventing their kids from sampling before leaving home.

Drug Use Declines With Age? Think Again. - zneil1

Drug Use Declines With Age? Think Again. - the macro show

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