The influence of social media and drug use
Nobody can deny the massive influence social media has and is continuing to have on the world; it has completely reshaped how we as humans engage with each other, how we seek out information, how we make decisions, and how we grow as individuals. Young adults and pre-teens are having the most significant impact on their lives.
Some people will spend hours endlessly scrolling through various social media sites hoping that eventually, something they post will go viral. While the goal of these platforms is never to cause harm, there have been thousands of individuals severely hurt or even losing their lives in an attempt to copy a trend or create a new craze.
How does social media encourage drug use?
While there are fitness accounts, healthy living and eating accounts all over social media promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, millions of accounts are spread on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok are instead glorify the use of drugs and alcohol.
These accounts will post images or videos of them subtly with their friends snorting a line of cocaine or lighting up a joint together; other times, there is full-blown explicit content of drug use. We are as a society, are constantly being bombarded with drug and alcohol usage whether we choose to realize it or not.
Furthermore, when this content is posted, it is full of people enjoying themselves, laughing, dancing, and having fun. Social media will rarely show the negative side of taking drugs; you will never see someone overdosing or lying on the road, throwing upon themselves. Social media glorifies the ‘good times’ of drug abuse. This is how so many young adults become addicts. They are unaware of the terrible situations and long-term mental and physical issues that will arise with drug-taking.
How does social media glamorize drug use?
No matter your age, you would have heard of rapper Snoop Dog, an individual who constantly, in nearly every post, glorifies smoking marijuana. Kate Moss, a famous supermodel, has openly stated that cocaine is what she uses to stay so thin for her career, she will actively choose cocaine over eating.
When we see celebrities, the people we look up to glamorize these drugs, why are we not going to follow in their footsteps and begin abusing? The statement ‘Everyone else does so I will too’ is incredibly risky. Individuals with this type of mindset will most likely lead you down a dark road of years of drug abuse, which leads to alcohol abuse, resulting in your entire life plummeting.
Social media peer pressure
Peer pressure can be an issue regardless of social media; however, when peer pressure is combined with social media, it can be highly damaging to individuals’ mental health.
Getting bullied is awful for someone to go through; however, this is usually a one-on-one situation. Social media offers the unfortunate opportunity for someone to succumb to having hundreds of thousands of accounts leaving disgusting comments on their posts, messaging them, and creating hate accounts towards them.
Before technology, individuals would only have the opportunity to be pressured into taking drugs while at a social gathering, at universities, and high schools. However, social media has created an entirely new platform which again allows thousands upon thousands to be subject to peer pressure to try certain drugs. Studies have shown that as many as 75% of young adults and pre-teens have felt a substantial amount of pressure to follow in their friends’ footsteps who have been experimenting with drug abuse online.
Social media and access to drugs
Not only does social media increase peer pressure for individuals to begin taking drugs, but it furthermore provides an online platform for drug dealers.
Whether these illicit substances were purchased through social media or via the ‘dark web,’ it has become extremely easy for anyone, no matter the background, to get their hands on class A drugs.
Social media contributing to poor mental health
An immense amount of research has shown an undeniable link between social media platforms and individuals experiencing negative mental health issues and severely low self-esteem. These feelings can quickly contribute to an individual turning to drugs to numb the pain that social media is causing or fit in with their friends.
Endlessly scrolling through social media will only ever make individuals feel severely isolated and alone, especially if they are scrolling through their friends’ profiles who are all out having a good time.
If social media use is not monitored, individuals’ mental and physical health can quickly decline. Individuals can start to experience:
- Delayed sleep
- Pale looking skin
- Heavy and dark under eyes
- General social anxiety
- Suicidal thoughts
- Anti-social behavior
Several benefits of social media have allowed people to start their own business, meet family members they have never known and connect with people worldwide. However, when you are a young adult or a pre-teen, they will often face a lot of peer pressure and regularly experience ‘Fomo,’ which is fear of missing out. Social media can have several negative impacts on individuals when not monitored, so ensure you are always taking time away from your social platforms, turn off your notifications, set limits, and take some time to prioritize self-care.
Find peace of mind at Shoreline Sober Living
Social media is here to stay, with more platforms being developed. We cannot possibly regulate what is available on social media platforms; however, we can control our exposure to specific influences.
Limiting the number of hours we spend on social media is a great way to stay on top of our mental and physical health. Following a healthy and positive account is the best way to avoid any form of harmful exposure; drug abuse does not have to be the only piece of content you see.
Here at Shoreline Sober Living, we are equipped with the tools to ensure you can avoid or at least limit your exposure to negative influences online. Let our professionals help you lead a sober free, and healthy life.
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