Is There a Link Between Social Media Content and Drinking Behavior?

teenager's phone with social media icons visible

The Impact of Social Media: A Risky Connection

Uncovering Correlations Between Young Adults, Alcohol Content, and Risky Behavior

Researchers in Australia have uncovered what they believe is a correlation between risky drinking behavior in young people and exposure to alcohol-related social media content.

The team made these conclusions after reviewing the results of 30 international studies of nearly 20,000 people aged 24 and younger.

Why is this behavior important?

Understanding the Significance: Why Risky Drinking Matters

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, “underage drinking is a significant public health problem in the U.S. Excessive drinking is responsible for more than 3,900 deaths and 225,000 years of potential life lost among people under age 21 each year. Underage drinking cost the U.S. $24 billion in 2010.”[i]

Here is an excerpt from the Australian report[ii]:

“Most studies (all four prospective, one of two cross-sectional) identified positive associations between exposure to alcohol-related content and greater average consumption. Most studies (three of four prospective, four of six cross-sectional) reported a positive association between alcohol-related self-posting and greater average alcohol consumption…

Both exposure to, and self-posting of, alcohol-related content on social networking sites are positively associated with current average consumption, problem drinking, and drinking frequency.”

Call for Action: Advocating for Social Media Regulation

The results of this study are leading some addiction specialists to call for tighter regulation of social media platforms to restrict access to alcohol-related content for younger consumers of that content.

If you or a loved one, 18 years old or older, is struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. And we come to you, regardless of where you live. Our unique in-home treatment model of care gives clients a significantly better chance of recovery than traditional inpatient rehab care. Please get in touch with one of our Alcohol Addiction Recovery Specialists to learn more.