Drinking, Drugs & Social Media - What's the Connection?
Teens that spend time on social media sites such as Facebook are at an increased risk of smoking, drinking and drug use. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University conducted a back-to-school survey among teens, 12-17, and found that teens that spent time on social networking sites each day were:
- Five times likelier to use tobacco
- Three times likelier to use alcohol
- Twice as likely to use marijuana
It’s no wonder that teens who spend time on social networking sites are at higher risk. Half of those on social networking sites have seen pictures of kids drunk, passed out, or using drugs on these sites.
For parents, the findings mean being vigilant about what your kids are viewing on social media sites. Instituting parental controls, limiting time spent on these sites and even ‘friending’ your own child could help you stay informed about your teen or tween’s chats. According to Top Ten Reviews, 73% of teens are on a social network. The average teen has 201 friends. 55% of teens have given out personal info to someone they don’t know, including photos and physical descriptions. So parents, you may want to join the 34% of parents who check their child’s social networking sites regularly.