Alcohol use is up from the early 00’s. The quoted article states:
There’s no single explanation for the increase. Researchers point to economic stress in the aftermath of the Great Recession; more easily available alcohol at restaurants and retailers; and the diminished impact of alcohol taxes. As a percentage of average income, than at any point since at least 1950.
Not mentioned: changing social norms and things go in cycles, especially things where there’s a significant time lag between the act and its most harmful effects.
In the past 10 years, I’ve been surprised at how outwardly alcohol abuse has been embraced and glorified compared to the relative tee totaling 80s and 90s.
This has all happened before and will happen again. I believe alcohol consumption at the beginning of the last century was also a thing, until the movement led by Carrie Nation tried to abolish it.
Smoking goes through similar cycles.
Part of this may be generational. The kids of the alcoholics see the harmful effects with their parents and abuse alcohol less when they grow up.
Their kids don’t see the long-term harmful effects, so they abuse it when they grow up. And so on.