In recent years, Facebook has opened its doors to users worldwide. What began as a website for college students to connect with other college students has grown into a global phenomenon with more than 800 million users — many of those users being teens between the ages of 12 and 17.
However, Narconon has found that according to a 2011 study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, teens that use Facebook are nearly twice as likely to smoke marijuana, three times as likely to drink alcohol and five times as likely to use tobacco products as nonusers.
The results of the study showed a correlation between teenagers who had Facebook profiles and how much they drank or used drugs.
However, there are researchers who do not feel the CASA study is completely conclusive. They argue that there is no direct relationship between the amount of time spent on Facebook and the amount of alcohol or drugs a teenager consumes.
Critics of the study feel that it has led parents to be overly concerned that their teenagers are abusing drugs and alcohol simply because they see others doing so on social networking websites. The study noted that nearly two-thirds of parents surveyed now monitor their children’s Facebook profiles to ensure that they are not partaking in these illegal and dangerous activities.
Despite the fact that many criticize its merits, the study does reveal that many teenagers feel peer pressure to do the things they are seeing on others’ profiles. For instance, if it is popular or cool to post drunken photos or photos of getting high and doing drugs, then other teenagers may feel the need to do the same things and subsequently post them on Facebook or Twitter.
It has revealed the fact that many teens feel an added pressure to drink or do drugs simply because they see their peers doing it — and the proof on Facebook is a daily reminder for them of what is cool and what is not cool.
“Parents who are concerned about their teens’ potential drug use should maintain an open line of communication” says Narconon Drug Preventionist. It is important that if a teenager has a Facebook account or other social media accounts, then the parents are aware of the accounts and monitor their use.
It is essential for parents to have all passwords to these accounts because private messages and other applications are crucial keys to keeping an eye on your teenager. Be open and honest with your teen — let him or her know that part of the deal of having a Facebook account is that as a parent, you have access to it.
If you have discovered that your teen has been drinking or using drugs and could possibly be addicted, it is important that you seek professional treatment right away. One good option is a Narconon Rehab; you can call toll free number 1-800-556-8885. Let your teenager know that you are there to support him or her to get better.