Correlation Between Teenagers and Networking Sites Shows Increase in Drug Use
A recent survey done on America’s teenagers shows that those who use social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are also more likely to drink, use drugs and smoke. The survey was conducted by Columbia University at their National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse and was their 16th annual survey done at back to school time. Teenagers ranged in age from 12 through 17 years and were asked about their networking site usage:
- 70% of those surveyed said they spent time each day on a site doing networking
- Those who are regulars on social networking websites are five times more likely to use tobacco products, three times more apt to drink alcohol and two times more likely to use marijuana.
Social networking sites are the main avenue for teens to witness photographs of their peers using drugs, getting drunk or being passing out. Many of the teens first saw these types of photographs at just 13 years of age, while more than 90% of them were 15 or younger when they first saw these kinds of pictures.
Those who witnessed these photos were three times more likely to begin using alcohol and four times as apt to try marijuana, compared to teens who had not witnessed them. These teens also most likely had friends who abused illegal and prescription drugs. The study found they also knew how to get a hold of these types of substances as compared to those teens who hadn’t ever viewed these websites, according to the article in Medical News Today.