Report: Social Networking Tied to Teen Drug Abuse

Dennis Faas's picture

According to a new report, teens that spend considerable time using social networking sites are more likely to drink alcohol or smoke tobacco and marijuana. The study also provides some stunning statistics showing the extensive use of social networking amongst American teens.

The report, which was produced by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) -- which is associated with Columbia University -- found that 70 per cent of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 spend at least some time on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or another social networking site on an average day.

Does Facebook Use Encourage Drug Use?

Interestingly, the study draws parallels between the use of these sites and drug use.

According to the CASA report, teens who use social networking are twice as likely to smoke marijuana than teens who spend no time on these sites. Social networking teens are also five times more likely to smoke tobacco and three times more likely to drink alcohol. (Source:

The study also found that half of teens who use Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and the like have reported seeing pictures of others teens "drunk, passed out, or using drugs on these sites."

The CASA also found that teens who reported viewing these kinds of images were four times more likely to have access to marijuana, three times more likely to have access to unnecessary prescription drugs, and twice as likely to have access to alcohol.

Teens who don't regularly use a social networking site were far less likely to see these kinds of images (14 per cent).

Expert: "Results are Profoundly Troubling"

CASA founder and Chairman Joseph Califano Jr says that the report should provide parents with plenty food for thought.

"The results are profoundly troubling," Califano said. "The anything goes, free-for-all world of Internet expression, suggestive television programming and what-the-hell attitudes put teens at sharply increased risk of substance abuse." (Source:

The report also revealed that 64 per cent of parents currently monitor their kids' social networking usage.

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