Teens and young adults who listen to high-volume digital music with ear buds, or who visit music venues such as clubs or concerts, are at greater risk of substance abuse than their peers who don’t engage in so-called risky music-listening behaviors, according to a new study.
Young people who listen to loud music with ear buds are almost twice as likely to smoke marijuana as those who do not listen to music on MP3 players, the Los Angeles Times reports. Teens and young adults who attend loud concerts and dance clubs are almost six times as likely as those who don’t frequent these venues to have had five or more alcoholic drinks in a row at some point in the previous month, the study found. They are also twice as likely to have sex without using a condom every time.
Researchers in the Netherlands surveyed 944 low-income students at two vocational schools, who ranged in age from 15 to 25. “This study highlights the need to regard high-volume music listening as a risk factor for risk-taking behavior,” they wrote in the journal Pediatrics. They suggested the findings could lead to practical interventions, such as handing out condoms and earplugs at concerts, or printing messages about alcohol abuse on concert ticket stubs.