Government study finds social media having impact on teenagers taking fewer drugs and drinking less

TAMPA - We talk about it all the time; social media and the negative impact it has on kids.

But a study that has tracked teen behavior for more than 40 years found more are staying away from alcohol and drugs, and that's in part thanks to time spent on computers and phones.

And  while not everyone agrees, the findings are the buzz at a local hair salon, Chateau De M . The salon caters to a lot of moms.
 
"Yes I am surprised. But it is a good surprise, finally something positive," said owner Miriam Leyva.
Leyva has a 15-year-old son. 

She also said this latest study by the National institute of Health brings relief.

"The study is refreshing," said Customer Marla Adams, who has three kids.

Researchers found teens are not only taking fewer drugs, but drinking is at it's lowest level since they started tracking numbers more than 40 years ago. It is a a decrease of more than 37%.  

The study commissioned by the US Department of Health suggests video games and time spent on social media is helping.

Researchers cited two key reasons: keeping kids busy at home and less face to face peer pressure, especially surrounding alcohol. 

"That is a reality we are facing with teenagers nowadays," said Adams.

"When he is home I feel safe," Leyva said.

"They are very reputable organizations," said Dr. Stacey Scheckner, who in part specializes in social media's impact on teens.

"The fact that this study found [social media] decreases peer pressure rather than increases it is astounding to to me," Dr. Scheckner said.

Scheckner, who has authored a few of her own studies, feels credit should  also be given to parents and teachers who have spent countless hours on enforcing positive social media practices.

She worries studies like this could have them backing off.

"I think we should continue with the workshops and the parent training and the just say no programs. I think that all has to factor into it," said Dr. Scheckner.

Adams and  Leyva  are on board.  They feel studies like this shows they are taking the right steps and encourages them to do even more

"Maybe more studies will come out and my kids are doing those things to stay out of trouble," said Adams

To read full study head here:


http://w.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/teen-substance-use-shows-promising-decline

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