Why don’t Gen Z drink alcohol?

Why don’t Gen Z drink alcohol?
Why don’t Gen Z drink alcohol?

A complex combination of external pressures and increased information is driving young people away from consumption alcoholto a much greater extent compared to previous generations.

As a teenager, Lola went “in circles” when it came to drinking. There were nights when she drank too much and the next day she regretted it as she tried to recall what had happened the night before. Then there would be a period of sobriety before the next big night out.

The lockdown is a turning point

But when the Covid pandemic broke out, Lola returned to her parents’ house and abruptly stopped drinking alcohol. According to her, the lockdown gave her the opportunity to distance herself from her deep-rooted habits and deal with the problems her anxiety created.

Today, the 22-year-old has a different relationship with alcohol. In fact, recently he tried to enjoy himself at a club without drinks, and although he hasn’t stopped drinking in general, he does so much less often now. “I’m not against alcohol – I just don’t like getting drunk and feeling sick the next morning,” says Lola. “I like to get home safely and remember the people I’ve met, so ‘sober nights’ are good for me.”

Lola is no exception among her friends, as she reports that all of them have been drinking less since the pandemic began. So she doesn’t get criticized by her peers when she doesn’t drink. “My friends who have cut back on alcohol as much as I have, think it’s cool for people to go out sober,” he explains. “It’s the do-it-yourself mentality that makes others respect your choices, whether it’s for the sake of your mental health or because you just don’t like it.”

A new mindset

Experimentation with alcohol – and binge drinking – has long been something of a “ritual” for young people to pass into adulthood, at least in Western cultures. From a young age, and often before it is legal, alcohol is seen as a means of entertainment, socialization and escape from routine. In fact, most business and social events serve alcoholic beverages.

But Gen Z seems to be taking its time, avoiding alcohol altogether or drinking less and less than previous generations.

The decline in alcohol consumption among young people, according to experts, is remarkable and widespread in most developed countries in Europe, as well as in the US, Australia and New Zealand. Gen Z Australians were the most likely to cut back on their alcohol consumption during the lockdown, with 44% reporting drinking less, according to a survey. In addition, rates of alcohol abuse among young people in New Zealand also fell by over 50% between 2001 and 2012, and have continued to decline ever since.

However, it is impossible to attribute this phenomenon to a single cause. Generation Z is growing up in a peculiar environment, where they are faced with economic and social concerns, as a result of which they wish to minimize risks.

In addition, young people have a better understanding of the ways in which alcohol consumption affects their health and the health of those around them. Consequently, anti-alcohol culture is flourishing and change is being felt.

Source: BBC

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The article is in Greek

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