With the many social networks available to people, such as Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, it allows teens to become emerged in an entirely different world than their parents might suspect. In fact, according to the Monitoring the Future Study from 2010, 1.8 million children who were under the age of 18 admitted to using drugs for the first time within the past year.
Some social media accounts are filled with things that kids just shouldn’t see. From sexually explicit material to drug and alcohol use photos many can’t help but wonder if social media is fueling the first time drug user statistic.
What Social Media Has To Do With Promotion Of Use
A recent survey taken by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University revealed that 75 percent of kids between the ages of 12 and 17 years old admitted that viewing pictures of other kids partying on the Internet increased their curiosity of using drugs or alcohol.
Almost half of the nearly 11 million teens surveyed agreed that it seemed like the people in these pictures were enjoying themselves. It was also found that kids who viewed these types of pictures were four times more likely to have used marijuana, three times more likely to have used alcohol and almost three times more likely to have used cigarettes. But what’s so enticing about it?
Well, it could be all of the attention that may come as a result of using drugs and drinking. When teens post pictures of themselves or friends partying and using drugs or alcohol on these types of websites, they are usually followed by dozens of comments about how much fun that particular night. With all of this “positive” attention from their peers, it is no wonder why some teens might find using drugs and alcohol as the “in” thing to do. After all, the goal of most teens is to be seen as “cool” by their friends.
Tips From Narconon On Monitoring Social Media
Experts from Narconon rehab centers suggest that parents should set limits on Internet use, according to the age and maturity of their child. Parents should also monitor their kid’s use of the Internet and be familiar with the websites they are visiting.
Another great method of prevention is through education and good communication. Parents should talk with their children about the dangers of using drugs and alcohol. They just might not be aware of the risks they are taking when consuming these substances.
Create a good relationship with your teen so that he or she can easily communicate with you about topics such as drug use and peer pressure.
Get involved in your teen’s life. Know who their friends are and what they’re doing. This includes enforcing Internet rules while they are visiting a friend’s house. They need to know that the same rules apply even when they are not at home.
Encourage your kids to participate in extracurricular activities that keep them productive and motivated. Finally, don’t be too hard on your kids if you find them looking at something they shouldn’t be. Kids are naturally curious.
By taking these measures it is sure to help teens make good decisions for themselves and become less affected by social media and the other things they see on the Internet.