Substance Abuse

Facebook Linked to Teen Drug Use

The results of a survey conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) indicated, among others things, that teens who use such social networking sites as Facebook are more likely to drink alcohol and smoke tobacco and marijuana, compared to those who do not.

But then again, how many teens in the United States do not use Facebook in this day and age?

Teens who use Facebook are five times more likely to use tobacco, nearly three times more likely to use alcohol, and nearly twice as likely to smoke marijuana.

CASA Founder Joe Califano released the following statement to accompany the report: “The results are profoundly troubling. This year’s survey reveals how 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.”

The study analyzed data from a survey that included more than a thousand teens, aged 12 to 17, as well as their parents. The respondents were contacted based on their home address, and were asked to fill out an online survey. Of the respondents, 21 percent reported ever using alcohol; 8 percent admitted to having used tobacco; and 11 percent admitted to having smoked marijuana.

Califano wrote further: “Especially troubling – and alarming – are that almost half of the teens who have seen pictures of kids drunk, passed out, or using drugs on Facebook and other social networking sites first saw such pictures when they were 13 years of age or younger; more than 90 percent first saw such pictures when they were 15 or younger. These facts alone should strike Facebook fear into the hearts of parents of young children.”


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