Social networking leads to drug abuse

A daft poll carried out in the US claims that teens are more at risk of switching to hard drugs if they use social notworking sites like Facebook.

In the latest attempt to blame a social ill on something that is fashionable, The National Centre on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University claims that time spent social networking increases the risk of teens smoking, drinking and using drugs.

The report claims that that 70 per cent of teens aged 12 to 17 – 17 million teenagers – spend from a minute to hours on Facebook, Myspace and other social networking sites.

But social-network-savvy teens are five times more likely to use tobacco; three times more likely to use booze and twice as likely to use marijuana than teens who do not spend any of their day on social networking sites. Now since every US fundamentalist believes that marijuana and booze leads to heroin and crack use, it is fairly clear that the war on drugs must include Facebook.

CASA Founder and Chairman Joseph Califano said the results are profoundly troubling. The anything goes, free-for-all world of internet expression, suggestive television programming and what-the-hell attitudes put teens at sharply increased risk of substance abuse.

While we might applaud Mark Zuckerberg being shot 230 times in a drugs bust, or at least being arrested for pushing drugs, the puritan universe where Califano lives is infinitely more scary.

Fortunately like most Far Right views it is completely bogus. The CASA interviewed only 1037 kids and 528 parents.

Results revealed that half of teens who spend any time social networking in a given day have seen pictures of kids “drunk, passed out, or using drugs on these sites”.

Yep, you got it. Half the kids have seen pictures of pissed and stoned kids on the site so that makes them immediately pop around to the shops and buy a pack of Silk Cut.

Only 14 percent of teens who reported spending no time on such sites in a given day said they have seen pictures of drunk, passed out, or drug-using kids on the sites.

Now comes the intesting claim. “Teens who had seen such pictures were four times likelier to be able to get marijuana, three times likelier to be able to get prescription drugs without a prescription, and twice as likely to be able to get alcohol in a day at most.”

Eh? How does that work then. If you watch the news you will see pictures of drug people, does this mean that people who watch the news are five times more likely to be stoned?

Teens who had seen such pictures were also more than twice as likely to think they would try drugs in the future, and much more likely to have friends who used illegal drugs, the report claims.

So this is not about social networking it is about banning pictures of people when they are drunk or stoned appearing online.

“Especially troubling – and alarming – are that almost half of the teens who have seen pictures … first saw such pictures when they were 13 years of age or younger,” the report said. “These facts alone should strike Facebook fear into the hearts of parents of young children.”

Not really. To be honest reading this report made me want a drink. Therefore it is fair to say that idiot silly seasion knee-jerk right wing reports lead to alcoholism. Parents should forbid their children from reading such stupid reports online.