Teens, Technology, And Drugs: An Inside Look

How Technology Is Hooking Teens Up With Drugs
Nation's Drug Czar Connects With Teens in Treatment, Offers Parents Solutions

CHICAGO, ILL.-America's teens are using technology like text messaging and the Internet to facilitate their drug use, and other are being exposed to drugs through technologies such as chat rooms and social networking sites. To highlight this growing problem, the Nation's Drug Czar today hosted a roundtable with adolescents in drug treatment to discuss the many ways technology aided their substance use and to also offer parents advice on monitoring their teens' digital activities.

"I was always searching [the Internet] for new ways to get high," said Sean, age 17, a teen in treatment at Pathway Family Center in Indianapolis. "My friends and I ordered 'legal marijuana,' which was terrible. I found out how to grow marijuana, how to make it more potent, how to crush pills. I linked my IM [instant messenger] to my favorite drug sites so that my friends could find them, too. When my parents wanted to drug test me, I found out online how to detox so I could get around the tests and show up clean."

Amy, age 17, also at Pathway in Indianapolis, said other technologies helped support her drug habit. "My cell phone was the most important tool for me to get drugs. I kept all of my drug dealers' names in my phone book on my cell phone and would sometimes put them under other names so nobody could find out," she said.