Social Networking Websites Linked To Teenage Substance Abuse

Columbia University’s Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) recently published a study that showed a positive correlation between drug use and the heavy use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

In their study, 70% of children aged 12 to 17 who reported to have participated in some type of risky behavior such as using alcohol and/or drugs, also reported using social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace on a regular basis. Furthermore, according to CASA, teens who reported using social media were five times likelier to use tobacco, three times likelier to drink alcohol and twice as likely to try marijuana.

While the use of networking websites doesn’t necessarily indicate a cause and effect relationship between the two, it is crucial that parents monitor their child’s computer activity and openly discuss the consequences of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and other substances or activities teens may feel tempted to engage in due to peer pressure and exposure.

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