According to a research conducted by the Columbia University, New York, researchers have found that teenagers between the ages of 12 – 17 are more likely to indulge in drug and alcohol abuse due to social media than actually being around adults that drink and do drugs on a regular basis. The reason behind such a claim has shown to be the fact that teens today post pictures of themselves doing drugs and drinking with their peers at a party makes teens yearn to be a part of that crows and in the sad attempt to fit in they think that drinking and smoking is the way to go.
Furthermore, apps like Yik Yak, Whisper and ChatRoulette where teens are time and again put in the way of harm by their own classmates, cyber-bullying as well as in complete access of people who may be trying to groom them catfishing them by the means of sockpuppet accounts works as tiny little catalysts on teen’s way towards drinking and substance abuse.
Even the images of their drug classmates seen having a good time in pictures is reason enough for such teens to drink alcoholic beverages and indulge in drug abuse and even abuse of prescription drugs if friends do so, because in their warped view of reality, that is what makes them cool and hip among their peers and finally have a chance to fit in.
Statistics on the Matter
According to the research conducted by Columbia University, it has been discovered that teens are 3 times likelier to consume alcohol if they use various social media platforms. The research also said that these teens are also twice as likely to use drugs like marijuana and the chance of them smoking increases by 5 times.
Furthermore, it has also been reported that teens with peers that take pictures of themselves taking drugs and drinking alcohol who then see it when teens post such pictures on Facebook and Instagram where they see it are five times more likely to consume alcohol as compared to a teen who doesn’t. The same goes for 4 times increase in the use of marijuana and 3 times increase in the likelihood of such teens abusing prescription drugs.
How Can Parents Help?
Even though your teen may not admit it, but you as their parents have a huge impact on their lives. Probably as much as they crave the friendship of their peers and a chance to fit in to the crowd comprising of their peers, they also want your unconditional love, support and attention and that is exactly what you need to use as parents to keep all sorts of dangers at arm’s length from your children.
Your children need to understand that as parent, your word is law in their roof since you are the ones responsible for their well being. They should respect you as parents and do all they possibly can to make sure that you are proud of their achievements. Similarly, in return for their respect and unwavering devotion and respect, you can give them care and protection, where the following points may help.
- Make it a habit to talk to your children about their school activities every single day. Try to know who they are friends with and what they are currently interested in.
- Take interest in the things they do. Ask them about the websites they frequently visit and why they enjoy going there. Try to learn what they do in their free time. What games they play and whatapps they use to get in touch with their friends and keep up with the world.
- Know their friends and their families. These are the people your child spends a lot of time with which should make them people of importance in your eyes.
- As a last resort, turn to spy app
- lications or rather parental monitoring apps to learn things about your children that they may be hiding from you in order to not disappoint you or hurt you. If there is something your child is not ready to tell you, that is exactly where the trouble lies and you need to work on eradicating it before it is too late.