Posting on social media,
texting or calling while high on drugs is prevalent among young people,
and many say that they regret this behaviour later, researchers said.
social media posts, including those showing people high on drugs, have
the potential to cause embarrassment, stress and conflict for users and
those in their social networks," said study lead author Joseph Palamar,
Associate Professor at New York University.
"It can also have
adverse implications for one's career, since the majority of employers
now use social media platforms to screen job candidates and may search
for evidence of substance use," he added.
Published in the
journal Substance Abuse, the study points to the potential social harm
associated with substance use which are likely overlooked and go beyond
well-established health risks.
For the study, the researchers
examined data from 872 adults surveyed while entering electronic dance
music (EDM) parties in New York City who reported current or previous
The researchers estimate that more than a third of EDM
attendees (34.3 per cent) posted on social media while high, with 21.4
per cent regretting it. In addition, more than half (55.9 per cent) had
texted or called someone while high, with 30.5 per cent regretting
making a call or sending a text. Nearly half (47.6 per cent) had been in
a photo while high, with 32.7 per cent regretting it.
one in five experienced regret after engaging in these behaviours while
high, suggesting that some situations may have resulted in socially
harmful or embarrassing scenarios," Palamar said.
young adults (aged 18-24) were particularly at an elevated risk for
posting on social media while high and were also more likely to text,
make calls, and take photos while high.
Although young adults
are a known high-risk demographic for substance use, females are
typically at lower risk than males. However, research shows that females
are more likely to use social media.
EDM attendees who
identified as neither heterosexual, nor gay, nor bisexual were also at a
higher risk for social media posting and related behaviours while high.
Separately, black participants were at a much lower risk for these activities.
to users of other drugs, current marijuana users were at the highest
risk for engaging in these risky behaviours while high, followed by
current cocaine users.