Experts believe that the time that teenagers spend connected to social networks increases the risk of them adopting harmful habits such as smoking, drinking and using drugs, according to the results of a nationwide investigation into the attitudes associated with the abuse of alcohol. substances that has been carried out in the United States.
The study found that, during a typical day, 70% of young Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 - around 17 million adolescents - stayed from one minute to a few hours using Facebook, MySpace and other social networks, according to the National Center on Addictions and Substance Abuse (CASA) of the Columbia University.
In this age group, the most involved adolescents in social networks are five times more likely to smoke; they are three times more susceptible to ingesting alcoholic beverages; and twice as likely to consume marijuana, that those who do not spend any time in accessing social networks.
In the opinion of Joseph Califano Jr., founder and president of CASA, freedom of expression, suggestive television programming and the 'anything goes' on the Internet, can have as a consequence the increased risk of adolescents abusing toxic substances.
Knowledge Networks conducted a survey through the Internet in which 1,037 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years and 528 parents of these young people participated. QEV Analytics conducted a telephone survey of 1,006 young people aged between 12 and 17 years, asking them questions made by CASA in order to observe trends.
50% of the adolescents who had accessed a social network on the day of the survey admitted to having seen in those pages photographs of young people in a state of intoxication, unconscious, or using drugs
The results revealed that 50% of the adolescents who had accessed a social network on the day of the survey admitted to having seen on those pages photographs of young people in a state of intoxication, unconscious, or using drugs.
In addition, 14% of young people who had not used a social network that day had also seen that kind of images on the pages at other times.
According to the study data, seeing those photographs produced a devastating effect on young people, since they were four times more likely to obtain marijuana, three times more likely to get medicines for which a prescription is needed, without it, and double the chances of getting alcohol. As for the adolescents, those who had seen the images were twice as likely to think that later they would try drugs, and had a more marked tendency to make friends with people who used illegal substances.
The researchers recorded another worrying fact: almost half of the young people who had seen such images, were 13 years old or younger when they saw them for the first time.
When asking adults, they observed that nine out of ten parents do not see danger because they do not believe that adolescents who spend more time connecting to social networks are more likely to drink alcohol or use drugs. Therefore, the authors of the report warn parents of the need to fight against the use of drugs, and ask the administrators of social networks to remove these images and veto access to adolescents responsible for its dissemination.
From Facebook, they have launched a statement in which they have an impact on the importance of the health and safety of its users, especially adolescents, for this social network, and state that the company's policy expressly prohibits the promotion of drugs, for what they remove that kind of content as soon as they have knowledge of its existence.
Source: EUROPE PRESS