Research digest: Facebook and drinking

08:04:00 Karen Li 0 Comments

The latest NIAA newsletter has a lot to say about Facebook/ social media and college drinking.

http://www.spectrum.niaaa.nih.gov/media/pdf/NIAAA_Spectrum_Newsletter_Sept2012.pdf

Summary: Estimates of 83% of college student facebook profiles refer to drinking. A potential approach suggested by research: Peer initiated motivational interviewing. Another approach is to waive disciplinary action for peers seeking help for their friend's who may need medical attention (despite being underage).

My thoughts: 
We covered this topic in youth fellowship a few weeks ago. I agree that drinking is a grey area, but with at least 60% of college students drinking to harmful levels, it's out of love that we address this issue.

Although the research on social media is in it's infancy and is constantly evolving, this research has bought about new directions for intervention.
What we know is judging DOESN'T work. What these kids are saying is: If I wanted help, I prefer it be from a peer, in a non-judgemental way. And instead of stopping me from drinking, help me with my other problems (which may or may not have led to the alcohol abuse).

So, if you notice a friend who appears to be drinking a lot, why not casually mention it without being judgemental.


“Show that you’re worried about me and care about me—ask me questions, rather than accuse me of things. For example, you can say, ‘I know you’ve had a hard week and I saw from your FB postings that you got really drunk this weekend. Are you okay?’” 

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