Teens Who Are Frequently Online May Be More Likely to Abuse Alcohol

By Staff Writer

Spending excessive time at the computer may be a sign that a teenager is in need of addiction rehab for alcohol use. A new study published in the journal of Addictive Behaviors has found that teens who use the computer the most are more likely to abuse alcohol.

Researchers from Weill Cornel Medical College surveyed 264 individuals between the ages of 13 and 17. They found that participants who drank the most also spent the most time on social media sites and listening to and downloading music. There was no correlation between alcohol abuse and using a computer for school work, shopping or playing video games.

The findings were unable to determine a cause for the correlation, but the researchers speculated that individuals who spend more time on music sites are likely exposed to frequent advertisements for alcohol. Additionally, they may view images or discussion of their peers using alcohol on social media sites.

The issue could have significant implications for the future health of young people, as the researchers said that children are being exposed to computers and the internet at younger ages, the researchers said. Findings ways to shield them from these effects could play an important role in their healthy development.