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Study Shows Possible Link Between Social Media Use and Underage Drinking

Posted by Steve Karimi | Jun 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

American teens are constantly immersed in social media. Over 70 percent of teens use more than one social media platform and spend an average of nine hours per day using some form of digital media. From cat pictures to viral articles, these teens regularly post and share about the things that interest them. Not surprisingly, alcohol consumption is a common topic. From cocktail recipes to pictures of celebrities partying, images of alcohol use across social media are commonplace. Now, researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have released a study showing a “statistically significant relationship” between alcohol-related social media activity and both alcohol consumption as well as alcoholism.

The study, published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, sought to establish a link between the pervasiveness of alcohol on social media and underage drinking. The study took a close look at the social media activity of 9,000 young Americans on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, as well as Instagram. The data showed researchers a correlation between alcohol-themed social media postings and underage drinking.

The head researcher, Brenda Curtis, Ph.D., says that while there is a clear link between alcohol consumption and alcohol-related social media activity, the research does not address whether or not one causes the other. According to Curtis:

Further research is necessary so we can better understand the cause and relationship between social media and alcohol consumption. This is especially important given that social-media sites can expose adolescents and young adults to alcohol content and marketing. This exposure may increase the likelihood of their drinking.

Consequences of an Underage Drinking Conviction

According to a 2016 study, 57 percent of young adults and 9.2 percent of adolescents used alcohol at least once a month. Research has shown that the brains of young adults and adolescents have not fully developed, leaving them with decision-making skills that are limited compared to adults. These decision-making skills often lead young people to make decisions that will ultimately haunt them later in life.

The thought of having a conviction for an alcohol-related misdemeanor likely doesn't cross the mind of many young people. However, whether they realize it or not, the consequences of such a conviction can be serious and long-lasting. Such consequences include:

  • Loss of access to federal student loans,
  • a permanent criminal record,
  • Trouble finding employment,
  • Inability to obtain some professional licenses, and
  • Loss of driving privileges.

Steve Karimi is a criminal defense attorney that has experience handling underage drinking cases. Steve Karimi will work to get you the best possible outcome, possibly including a diversionary program or having the charges dismissed completely.

The Law Offices of Steve Karimi

If you or your minor child have been charged with an alcohol-related crime, it is in your best interest to contact a Seattle area criminal defense attorney today. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and can assist in crafting the best defense possible. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today for your free consultation.

About the Author

Steve Karimi

Steve Karimi attended Pepperdine University School of Law. After graduation he worked as a prosecutor in Seattle where he gained valuable insight to the criminal justice system. Attorney Karimi uses his experiences as a prosecutor everyday only now he fights for the justice of those accused.


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If you were arrested or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Seattle or surrounding areas of Washington State, the Law Offices of Steve Karimi can help. Call 206-660-6200 24 hours a day for a free consultation.

Seattle Defense Lawyer

Named a "rising star" in criminal defense by Washington Law and Politics magazine, Mr. Karimi is a former prosecutor for King County who uses his insight into prosecution strategies to protect his clients' rights in criminal court.