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Study Links Computer Time with Drug and Alcohol Use and Other High-Risk Behaviors

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Teenagers who are on the computer the most are 50 percent more likely to engage in multiple high-risk behaviors, such as drug and alcohol use and unprotected sex compared to teens who log little screen time, according to a new study.

Medical News Today reports that watching a lot of television was also found to be modestly associated with increased engagement in multiple high-risk behaviors. The study author said that the average teenager is exposed to more than 4.5 hours of screen time each day. Spending so much time on the Internet allows them to visit undesirable websites where they can see images of behaviors they can potentially adopt, she said. The study was published in Preventive Medicine.

1 Response to this article

  1. Rob Fleming / April 29, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Every living thing needs to adopt successful strategies to meet their needs for food, water, procreation (sex is a strategy, not a need), etc. In humans, successful strategies are rewarded by dopamine release. Alcohol and drugs falsely promote dopamine release. For humans, cooperation is a successful strategy, and socialization promotes dopamine release. Socialization in recovery fellowships helps substitute for the false rewards of AOD. Socialization through social media, even socialization with false friends like video game characters, may do the same.
    So what we really need to look at is why some kids seek inauthentic rewards and how to divert them into a more authentic rewards; that is, dopamine release as a result of behavior that really does enhance their chances of survival.

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