There’s no denying social influence, particularly when it comes to drugs and alcohol. People are so much more likely to engage with these substances if others are doing so, and especially if those others are encouraging the person to engage. Substance abuse is fairly rampant in the United States at the moment, but advertisements on social media are actually pushing more and more users toward alcohol abuse.

How Peer Influence Can Lead to Increased Substance Abuse

“Alcohol advertisements on social media sites such as Facebook can increase young adults’ desire to drink if the ads contain pro-drinking comments from users. That’s according to new research in the current issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.” It’s no surprise that social media could hold such a huge influence, and in many ways, it can be seen as the modern form of peer pressure. Advertisements promoting drinking are one thing, but seeing other people – particularly friends, family, coworkers, etc. – approve openly of what the ads show is sure to push some people in the same direction.

Alcohol abuse is on the rise at the moment within the country, and the social culture that surrounds it doesn’t exactly help. These ads in particular “influence desire to drink,” nudging those who were perhaps neutral in the direction of imbibing. Of course, the opposite can be true: if those who are commenting are collectively not in favor of the ad’s message, then impartial observers may be dissuaded.

The point here is that social influence plays a huge role not only in general substance abuse, but in alcohol abuse in particular. Social media certainly has a place in today’s world, but part of its power is in its ability to sway users toward bad habits and worse. Be thoughtful when adding any comments on social media, and also take everything you read there with a grain of salt.

To learn more about avoiding the snares of alcohol abuse on and offline, contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others who are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction treatment and recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.