Media Campaign Fact Sheets

Teens & Technology Fact Sheet

Young people are seeking or getting drug information online, and the content they find is often detailed and dangerous.

  • Fifty five percent of Internet users say they have received an unsolicited email advertising a prescription drug and 40 percent say they've received an unsolicited email advertising an over-the-counter drug .1
  • In September 2005, a DEA investigation resulted in the arrest of 18 people, operating more than 4,600 rogue Internet pharmacy Web sites.2
  • A search on MySpace.com, a social networking site used by millions of people and popular among teens, turns up tens of thousands of people talking about marijuana.3
  • Twenty-two percent of Internet-using teens say they have looked for information online about a topic that's hard to talk about, like drug use, sexual health or depression.4
  • Pro-drug Web sites commonly include descriptions of the preparation, dose, administration and psychoactive effects of drugs, as well as recommendations for managing the adverse effects of illicit drugs.5
  • One popular online pro-drug encyclopedia, Erowid, contains 20,000 documents that provide enormous detail on drug use, including dosage, modes of administration and intended effects. It receives 250,000 daily page visits and 6 million annual unique visitors seeking information on more than 200 psychoactive substances.6
  • A study found that the Internet leads adolescent drug users to try new drugs and drug combinations; take steps to minimize the harmful effects of drugs; and modify the use of preferred drugs.7