Baby boomers to Gen X and Gen Y: 'We didn’t do that many drugs when we were your age'.
It turns out this is actually true.
A study by Shane Darke and colleagues examining age of onset of drug use among regular psychostimulant users found that by the age of 17 those born before 1961 had on average only used tobacco and alcohol. In contrast those born between 1986 and 1999 had used nine different drug classes by the age of 17. The authors interviewed 269 regular psychostimulant users, because this class of drug is most associated with polydrug use. Among this group of regular methamphetamine users the age of onset of use declines by four months for each year later they were born. The authors say the causes of the trend is unclear but would appear to reflect a broader trend towards earlier risk taking in the young, including earlier age of first sexual intercourse, and also broad factors including wider availability of drugs, higher disposable incomes and changes in societal attitudes towards drugs.