Illicit Drug Purchases via Social Media Among American Young People
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Book chapter › Research › peer-review
Illicit drugs are sold online. Besides cryptomarkets, young people today are also using social media to buy and sell different drugs. The aim of this nationwide study was to investigate the phenomenon of buying drugs from social media among American young people. Relatively few studies have investigated young people buying drugs online and, therefore, it is important to know more about the psychological and social risk factors of this behavior. The participants of the study were 15–25-year-olds from the U.S. (M = 20.05; 50.17% female). Buying drugs online was utilized as an outcome variable. The covariates included measures of impulsivity and delay of gratification, sense of belonging to online communities, online homophily, friends sharing risk material online, psychological distress, and measures for addictive behaviors including hazardous drinking, problem gambling, and compulsive Internet use. Results showed that buying drugs online is still a relatively rare phenomenon, but many of those buying drugs online used social media services to do so. Buying drugs online was associated with higher impulsivity and lower measures of delay discounting indicating self-control problems. Online buyers also had multiple problems with mental wellbeing, as they reported more psychological distress, problem gambling, and compulsive Internet use than those drug users who had not bought drugs online. The existence and comorbidity of these problems suggest that drug availability online might worsen their situation. As impulsive decisions are especially easy to make on social media, more focus should be placed on youth behavior on mainstream social media services.
|Title of host publication||Social Computing and Social Media : Design, Ethics, User Behavior, and Social Network Analysis|
|Place of Publication||Cham|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
|Series||Lecture Notes in Computer Science|
- Faculty of Social Sciences