By Staff Writer
On the topic of alcohol consumption, the researchers found that the number of problem drinkers did not necessarily increase, but the percentage of drinkers who engage in dangerous consumption did. The average number of beverages consumed in one sitting increased from three in 1996 to 4.6 in 2009. The number of young adults who exceeded safe drinking levels was 22 percent.
This may have damaging implications. The researchers said that more people drinking to excess could lead to higher rates of driving under the influence. However, trials of harsher laws for this penalty have shown promising results and may be one method of battling the problem, the team stated.
Additionally, marijuana addiction became a larger problem. In 1996, just 8.7 percent of the population admitted to cannabis use, but that number jumped to 13.3 percent in 2009. Rates of marijuana use increased even more dramatically among young adults.