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Substance Abuse & Social Networking

Is there a higher risk of substance abuse for teenagers who visit social networking sites? In a recent report released by Columbia University’s CASA, there appears to be an association between social networking and substance abuse in teenagers. If the findings are to be believed, it can also be assumed that a good proportion of these social network savvy teenagers will need to undergo addiction recovery sooner, rather than later.

Every day, approximately 17 million teenagers aged 12 to 17 spend some time, ranging from 1 minute to a few hours, at popular social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. Representing about 70 percent of America’s teenagers, the report found that these teenagers were twice as likely to use marijuana and three times more likely to consume alcohol in comparison to teenagers who were not into social networking. What’s the connection? One alarming statistic showed that 50 percent of the teenagers who used social networking sites had seen pictures of teenagers passed out, drunk or abusing drugs on these sites. On the other hand, 14 percent of teenagers who did not use networking sites had also seen similar picture. The kids who had come across such pictures were more likely to be able to get alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs without a prescription.

Once the kids see that other kids are abusing alcohol, prescription or illicit drugs, they perceive it as some kind of a rite of passage. Then, they will find ways to get their hands on these substances. Some of the kids may already have friends who are actively using drugs so it’s not hard for them to find the drugs. In light of these findings, it’s important for parents to keep an eye on what their children are watching on social networks.

If you suspect that your kid is abusing alcohol or drugs, it’s time to talk to him or her about getting treatment at a drug and alcohol rehab center. Transitions Recovery is a leading South Florida addiction recovery center with an excellent track record. Give us a call today to find out more about our programs and services.