The Pew Research Center classifies millennials as anyone born between 1981 and 1996—ages ranging from 23 to 38. Although these are historically prime ages for drug and alcohol consumption, data suggests the latest trend among millennials is sobriety.
Today, millennials are choosing sobriety because of their personal values. Despite personal values being unique to each individual, similar values are quite common.
Here are the top three values that are motivating millennials to stay sober.
1. Saving Money
With Eastern spiritual influence in millennial mindsets comes the perception that material wealth is a luxury, not a necessity. Research from Goldman Sachs indicates that purchasing homes and vehicles are becoming less desirable in comparison to sharing expenses and not being tied down by debt. As consumerism trends downward, millennials view alcohol as a nonessential disadvantage to health and wealth. In lieu of alcohol, millennials prefer spiritual experiences to enhance their health while positively connecting with themselves and others.
Millennials have access to the entire world at their fingertips. From Twitter to Facebook, and more than a dozen other social networking apps, opportunities have never been more abundant. A 2017 study by research organizations Achieve and The Case Foundation found that the majority of millennials surveyed believed they could make an impact in the United States as activists. This shows a desire to learn what matters according to their own values and take a stand for those beliefs.
Today’s digital environment affords us the opportunity to access knowledge of other cultures while helping us evaluate what’s truly important. Currently, it’s socially acceptable for high school graduates to take time to understand themselves before committing to a high-priced college. Meanwhile, millennials in their late-twenties and thirties are more willing to establish themselves before marriage, as opposed to prior generations. It’s impossible to gain knowledge of self under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Therefore, millennials take steps towards attaining self-actualization.
3. Pride in Work
Along with the endless networking opportunities on social media comes expansive business opportunities. With the appeal of global impact, it’s no wonder millennials enjoy working so much. Even more important than money is the desire to leave a mark on the world. That’s why jobs related to the environment and holistic healthcare are on the rise. Millennials have an insatiable need for individual expression, and they achieve this by taking pride in their work. The Harvard Business Review published a report calling millennials “work martyrs” with 43 percent admitting guilt to taking vacation and preferring to be viewed by managers as irreplaceable.
Millennials are shutting down the stereotype that drugs and alcohol are “cool” for health, adventure and social connection. Drugs and alcohol slow down progress, dismount creativity and suppress urgency, all of which are unattractive to millennials who passionately pursue their happiness through work. Thus, millennials are shaping up to be a transformative generation, paving the wave of the future with consciousness and clarity.