Well, we all knew it has been happening all along in our own communities, but a recent study by Nielsen BuzzMetrics has discovered that teens are using social networking sites to swap tips online about drug use. The new study reports that around 1.6 per cent of youth are using the internet to find information on drugs. Of this percentile, 11% are trading tips on how to use drugs safetly.
Personally I’m suprised by this study. I would think that more youth would be online researching drugs. Although many youth are sheltered to a certain extent, I would say that the majority of teens must know atleast one peer who is using drugs, and alchohol. In a 2003 study done by CAHM discovered that of their sample, one-in-ten teens are engaged in drinking and drug consumption. There is a huge gap in these numbers, and although the studies are 4 years apart, it pays testiment to the increase of online outreach that has to happen to fill this gap. If the concern is about youth swapping incorrect information, then it is up to the health service providers to addopt these grassroots means of distributing information to get our message out.
That’s why TRIP is here. Much like the youth who are online swapping tips, we swapped tips amongst our communities until it formed into a solid entity. Grassroots community info swapping has not only happened in the clubs, but also on community message boards like Hullabaloo, PureRave, and Tribe. Even some of the early BBSs were focused on drug use. Youth have been using the internet since its advent to share information on drugs, and it is this open principle of information sharing that infuses the spirit of TRIP. Let this tradition continue. Remember, we always welcome your participation. Don’t be afraid to join up, post comments, or start up some threads on our messageboards. Only together can we keep our communities safe!