Smartphone Addiction In Teens Not Entirely Bad? Drug And Alcohol Use Drop As Kids Get Hook On Devices

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald March 22, 04:00 am

Parents who always argue with their teenagers about their smartphone addiction might have a new reason to let this slide next time. A new study reveals there's a noticeable drop in drug or alcohol use among teens and experts believe it's likely because of they are more hooked on smartphones these days.

Researchers from the University of Michigan conducted a study among 45,000 students from grades eight to 12 in public and private schools in 2016. Only 5 percent of teenagers admitted to using illicit drugs, while 9.4 percent admitted to marijuana use, as per the study Monitoring the Future.

Alcohol drinking, which is more prevalent in teens than drug use, has also gone done to half their percentage in 2016. Fewer kids also engaged in binge-drinking these days compared to 10 or 20 years ago.

The institution's 1996 study reflected 13 percent of teens used illicit drugs, while marijuana use among teenagers was between 18 to 34 percent, depending on the grade level. The study also noted fewer overdosing incidents among teenagers in 2016 compared to previous years. There were also more adult victims of the opioid epidemic than teen victims.

Experts say a likely factor to this drop in drug and alcohol use among teens is smartphone use, according to Harvard Health. Today's teenagers are getting so much more gratification from their connections online and the smartphone has become a necessarily lifeline.

Experts, however, noted that drug and alcohol use among teens started dropping as early as 2006 when smartphones weren't even on trend. They said that raising awareness to the dangers of drug use could have also brought on the positive effects. Parents, schools, pediatricians and anti-drug advocacies have been helpful in reaching teenagers. The researchers said more studies should be done in order to prove these assumptions.

Parents do you have teens who are mostly engrossed on their smartphones? Does this study bring relief or more worries? Share us your thoughts on this matter in the comments section below.

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