Red Flag! Social Media is Influencing Teens to Consume Drugs
Do you think that your children, especially teens, find the life of social media stars glamorous? Are they 24/7 active on social sites and trying to copy the latest trends even if they are deadly?
Teenagers or youngsters exploring drugs and alcohol is nothing new. Social media offers lethal and dangerous opportunities for adolescents to experiment with drugs and get familiar with substance use. Youngsters are more into the digital world, which introduces them to drugs and alcohol.
Red Flag! Social Media is Influencing Teens to Consume Drugs
Teens are more inspired and convinced by what they see on social media. Mostly they want to imitate the influencers and the latest trends. But unfortunately, some prominent figures engage in risky behaviors, sometimes attracting teenagers who want to do like them.
In Addition, teens have influenced by their friend’s and family members’ activities and practices. What they see around them, they normalize and find glamorous.
A family member using drugs in front of youngsters preaches to them that this illicit behavior is acceptable.
As per the reports, youngsters who use social media are more prone to drugs, beer, alcohol, and tobacco than those who do not use social sites or use them rarely.
In a survey, over two thousands teens have asked to discuss using social sites and drugs. Those adolescents who use social media more frequently are more exposed to drugs and other illicit habits than those who use it sometimes.
The result obtained is given below.
Teens who spend more time on social sites are
- More vulnerable to buying cigarettes.
- More into drinking.
- More exposed to drugs and alcohol.
Sadly, teens around the globe have lost their precious lives because of overdoses of drugs.
Shocking Rise in Teenage Overdose Fatalities:
According to the latest reports and studies, youth mortality rate from overdose is rising dramatically. However, utilizing doses of illicit drugs is not the leading cause of teenage deaths. Consuming non-pharmaceutical drugs is the root cause of increased mortality rate.
For instance, a person takes medicine to relieve pain, but if that medicine has laced with fentanyl, the consequences will be life-threatening.
People are experiencing double the amount of deaths because of overdoses of dangerous drugs.
As per reports:
- In 2010, fatality in the US was 518.
- In 2021, fatality in the US was 954.
The drastic rise in deaths results from consuming high doses of drugs like fentanyl.
In 2021, more than 77% of teenagers lost their lives as they consumed fentanyl. It is 50 times more potent than other drugs. The mortalities have spiked because fentanyl is readily available and produced at low costs.
Teenagers use fentanyl as a form of medicine without being aware of how deadly it is. They are less aware of the fact that consuming fentanyl will result in the loss of their lives.
Adolescents buy these life-risking drugs thinking of them as legitimate pills. However, they are drugs with potent and deadly ingredients. Fentanyl is a significant hit on teenagers causing them to lose their lives.
Unfortunately, fentanyl is added to counterfeit pills, making teens vulnerable to its consumption. In Addition, less consumption of fentanyl than other drugs causes a more adverse impact on the body.
The major problem of rising deaths is that people are unaware they are consuming deadly drugs, i-e, fentanyl. Every third medicine has laced with fatal medications unknown to people.
Social Media Role in Drug Sales:
People use social websites for business purposes. As more people are engaging on social media, the chances of product promotion are quite more straightforward. It is also easier for drug dealers to advertise drugs in a form that attracts people, especially teenagers.
People use apps like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat to constantly sell drugs having deadly compositions. These social apps are one business for everyone, either illicit or legal.
Eye-catching advertisements on social apps attract potential customers, and as a result, they buy them.
Following are the ways drug dealers sell their drugs.
- They use catchy lines to attract customers.
- They mainly comment on people’s posts advertising their drug.
- Use coded hashtags
- Use emoji
- Flagging posts
- Prepare outlets
- Hire influencers that promote drug
Drug dealers prefer doing encrypted communication on platforms like WhatsApp etc. As a result, they put unknown chemical reagents in the drug that can be lethal.
Is Social Media Blamed For Teen Overdose?
Following the latest social media trends online, youngsters make risky choices. They copy public figures, friends, and family having fun at parties, attempting inappropriate ways. What is portrayed on social media is not real life.
According to studies, 75% of teens have been inspired by pictures of people drinking and smoking, which encourages the spark to experiment with drugs in the same way.
Now that the social media impact has worsened, children are involved in these activities at a younger age.
In Addition to copying peers on online apps, the ads also convince youngsters to try different drugs.
Drug dealers make strategies to attract teenagers to use alcohol and drugs to become addicted. The latest research found that 30% of adolescents bought substances from social media ads.
Records show many incidents where health authorities say people die because they consume counterfeit pills tainted with fentanyl. Access to these life-taking drugs is much easier on social apps. That’s why people are now blaming social media for their teen deaths. Most teenagers and youngsters see social media advertisements encouraging them to secretly buy drugs and alcohol.
Real-Life Social Media Drug Trafficking Cases:
- As per the news, at 14 years old, Alexander died because he consumed fentanyl laced pills.
- Mr. Webb fainted and died in his home’s bathroom because he consumed medicine with a deadly drug.
- Another woman died at home. Police opened her social media app and found out she had purchased a drug that had a small substance of fentanyl.
Moreover, parents of teenagers who died of overdose have reached the courts. Snapchat is under fire. Parents believe that Snapchat is responsible for the deaths of their youngsters. Snapchat’s disappearing feature makes it difficult for parents to monitor what their kids are up to on social media. It encourages criminal scenes as parents or law cannot see the messages the teens send or recieve via Snapchat.
It is more alarming; children are connected to unknown people like drug dealers on social media and end up losing their lives.
How To Reduce Risks of Teens Overdose Deaths?
Social media plays a significant role in increasing the number of deaths of teenagers. Such platforms also help in reducing the risks of overdose mortalities.
Unfortunately, teenage overdose deaths are increasing day by day. Now it is essential to stop them by abiding by the following steps.
- There must be awareness posts related to drugs on social apps.
- Apps like Snapchat, Facebook, and Tiktok must combat illegal businesses running on their platforms.
- Apps should ban drug-related accounts.
- Apps must restrict drugs and alcohol-related posts.
- Social media apps should delete posts that seem to exploit the community.
- There must be campaigns on social media to give helpful information to youngsters.
- Social media platforms must provide free seminars and resources to aid parents with substance disadvantage, use, and safety measures to handle it.
- Only promote those drugs and medicines that seem helpful.
Role of Parents to Reduce Risks of Teens Overdose Deaths?
In Addition to social media, parents should also take part in awarding their children, especially youngsters.
Following are the measures parents should follow.
Talk to Your Kids:
It is essential to discuss and communicate with your children. It is a fact that children, primarily teenagers, refrain from talking to their parents because of their strictness. Therefore, you should always have honest and open dialogue conversations with your children and make them aware of how deadly drug usage can be. It will make them comfortable with you, and they will discuss their confusion with you.
Monitor Your Kids:
Parents need to track and monitor the online activities of their children. By watching them, you will know what they are up to doing. Then, you can restrict them if you find any red flags. For example, tell them how drugs are harmful to their health.
Attend Seminars Related To Drug Awareness:
Attend seminars with your kids so that they get information about valuable drugs. In addition, they should be given knowledge about the disadvantages of drugs at an early age so they will be less likely to experiment with such deadly things.
Keep A Check On Their Company:
As they grow older, be prepared to expect any bad company they have. Try to be loyal to them at every stage. Also, do not judge them to avoid feeling guilty. If you see any lousy company signs, explain to them how life is essential.
If your child is using fentanyl or other drugs, ensure you already have those medicines that preserve their impact on the body. In addition, you must have fentanyl testing strips to avoid harm.
Social media acts as a catalyst in increasing the deaths of youngsters. It not only lets youngsters experiment with drugs but also makes them experience mental health diseases. Therefore, parents must watch their child’s daily activities and make them aware that not everything on social media is real. Timely awareness can reduce the risks of overdose deaths among teens.