Social Media, Teens, and Substance Abuse: What are the Connections?

a teen girl uses her phone research to connections between social media teens and substance abuse

The connections between social media, teens, and substance abuse are often quite tight. Parents may not even realize that their children are taking lessons from social media stars. Even worse, they may be getting pressure from friends on social media to abuse drugs. This problem concerns us at The Right Step. As a result, we’ve decided to prepare this simple guide. It should help parents fully understand this problem and what they can do to help their teens using social media and drug rehab.

Social Media May Influence Substance Abuse

While many adults may think of social media as harmless fun, many teens take it very seriously. As a result, they often make friendships here and behave in ways that they wouldn’t otherwise. For example, a study examining a popular pro-marijuana Twitter page gauged the content and the demographics of the site. What they found was disturbing.

First of all, the handle rarely posted about the negative consequences of marijuana abuse. As a result, users were getting misinformation about the dangers of this substance. Even worse, about 70 percent of the followers were under the age of 19. This age group is typically the most prone to social media pressures and is most likely to experiment with new drugs.

And this was just one example of many. Famous musicians, television and movie stars, and social media personalities may all post positive drug messages on social media. For example, they may show themselves drinking alcohol at a party or smoking a joint. Such messages send the wrong idea to their impressionable teen audiences.

This problem doesn’t even touch on how teens may use social media to set up parties or abuse drugs. As parents often don’t pay attention to their child’s social media, these messages could be going on behind their backs. Thankfully, they can take steps to address this issue.

Positive Social Media Campaigns May Help

A growing group of concerned parents and teens are attempting to tackle the issues of social media, teens, and drug use. For example, the “Shatter the Myths” campaign shares anti-drug messages on various social media sites to combat the misinformation others are sharing.

Do these types of groups work? That all depends on the age at which a person experiences them. Younger teens often react positively while a teen who is already abusing substances may laugh them off. Therefore, parents must take affirmative steps if their child is using drugs already. Unfortunately, drug rehab may be necessary for teens who have developed an addiction.

When Rehab May Be Necessary

The tight connection between social media, teens, and substance abuse can be a hard one to shake. As a result, parents need to understand the benefits of drug rehab fully. No parent wants to send their child to a rehab center. Doing so can be very painful and force the child into a difficult situation. However, it is better than the alternative. And drug rehab can provide many benefits, including:

  • Detox help: Remove dangerous chemicals from a teen’s body to keep them stay healthy
  • Psychological assessment: Figure out what emotional problems trigger substance abuse
  • Group therapy: Work with other teens to figure out the source of their abuse
  • Family counseling: Meet with the teen and their counselors to sort out the problem
  • Behavior adjustments: Change adverse behaviors that cause a teen to abuse drugs

These programs come in many shapes and sizes. For example, you can get help in an outpatient center that your teen can leave at the end of the day. Or they may need inpatient care for more intensive treatment. Other care options to consider include aftercare and alumni programs. These options help to keep your teen sober after they finish treatment.

Take the Right Step Now

If you’re worried about social media, teens, and substance abuse, please reach out to us at The Right Step today. We provide detox, counseling, behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, and much more. Our programs focus on many drugs, including meth, heroin, marijuana, and alcohol. So please verify your insurance and call 713.528.3709 to get started. You’ll be doing your teen a considerable favor.

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