Are millennials the sober generation?

Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, are stereotypically bracketed into a generation who date online, live online, binge drink and do outrageous things for ‘likes’.  

We’ve grown up alongside the ever-changing face of technology, we remember 90s fashion the first time it happened but don’t regret it enough not to wear it all again, and we drank alcopops, non-ironically.

Despite our flaws, we’re arguably the most woke generation yet. We’re inclusive, in-tune, mindful, meditative, vegan (sort of). We’re the future, innit.

As a demographic, we’re drinking less booze (no, really). Out of 1,000 women questioned, 41% would choose acai over Aperol.  Yes, we love a Sangria in the sunshine but we’re consuming consciously.

Danielle, 27, has been sober for just over six years. “I have never looked back and love being the sober friend. I can’t see myself drinking again. The only thing that can get a little annoying is when people goad you saying, ‘Oh just have one. It won’t harm you’. Or the best answer to me saying I don’t drink, which is ‘What?! Why?! What’s wrong with you?!’ … I’m still able to have just as much fun as anyone else. It just means I can look after myself and others better, and even drive home.”

There a certain expectation when it comes to alcohol, that everyone must drink. Carly, 28, has only ever drunk alcohol here and there, “When I go to business events or parties and I’m offered a complimentary drink – it’s always wine! I ask for a non-alcoholic option and people think I’m joking and try to make me take the wine. I get it a lot and I don’t see why surely it’s just as common as someone being a vegetarian?”

According to a report published by Eventbrite 42% of millennials are drinking less alcohol than they were three years ago, with one in four preferring to spend their money on ‘other things’ (1,023 millennials questioned). Millennials want to enjoy and remember the moments. While just 13% regarded getting drunk as the most important thing when going out.

Daisy, 21, chooses to stay sober. “I don’t like to be out of control of my own body, and when I drink I can’t stand the feeling of being drunk; I get irritated by not being able to get points across without slurring my words.”

Excessive alcohol consumption is connected to ill mental health. Dr. Cyrus Abbasian, a consultant psychiatrist at St George’s University of London, told The Guardian, “Alcohol leads to short-term relief of anxiety, but it doesn’t treat the underlying problem.”

Rebecca, 26, said, “I decided to go sober aged 19 as I believe that was when I truly started to understand my mental health issues. I began to listen to my body and what it was telling me about how my lifestyle choices impacted my physical health, my depression and anxiety. Drinking would momentarily numb my issues or escalate them. Now I definitely get more of a buzz when I’m being creative or meditating. I’ve not drunk alcohol for 7 years now and I don’t miss it – especially the hangovers!”

Being in tune with our mental health is a huge positive of our generation. For the most part we don’t feel like we need alcohol to numb our issues, or liberate our tongues and we feel freer to talk about what’s on our minds and express our troubles and concerns, which is super positive. Cheers to that.

Credits: giphy & CLICKON insights

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