The Impact of Changing Social Behaviors on Teen Drug Use

The Impact of Changing Social Behaviors on Teen Drug Use


[Dr. Volkow speaking] The way that the teenagers are communicating
have changed dramatically over the past 10 to 15 years, and it has been accelerated as
of the past five years. Social media has permeated the life of all
the teenagers and we now know that teenagers spend much more time with these devices and
in front of the computer that they had ever, ever done before, and that they are communicating
much more electronically done in our face-to-face perspective. we knew from all of the epidemiological studied
and the studies and lessons that mirror behavior of observing other teenagers and the dynamic
that exists on peer pressure when you are with other teenagers contributes significantly
to the initiation and repeated drug use among adolescents among teenagers…a very powerful
driver. So the question that emerges, and we don’t
have answers because this has not been investigated but
the question comes to mind could these changes in interaction be playing a role on that decreasing
consumption of drugs by teenagers? Because the probability of them being in physical
presence of other teenagers has been decreased by the fact that now they are more interacting
through the web than in person, that’s one. I also think that we need to do research in
terms of understanding how other types of reinforcers that teenagers are picking up
that did not exist to the same extent amongst teenagers are actually substituting for the
culture of taking drugs. And in particular, for example the use of
video games which have actually just skyrocketed in terms of technology and the power and drive
they have to capture the behavior of teenagers to the point that in certain countries like
China, Taiwan, Korea…they have established clinics for treating addiction to these video
games among teenagers. Cause teenagers get compulsive about it and
they relinquish their school activity their social life and they stopped sleeping and
then it can be quite harmful. So you are you are changing the pattern of
requiring compulsive options to teenagers that were not there in the past.

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