Survey Says

Facebook Is Now Being Used to Find ‘Young Alcoholics’

Spring break forever.
Beatbeat. (Photo: Facebook.com)

Betabeat? (Photo: Facebook.com)

Beware, college kids: If you post pictures of yourself getting drunk on Facebook (because college), it’s now scientifically proven you’re likely to become an alcoholic.

Researchers from the Seattle Children’s Hospital were looking to identify alcoholism at a younger age, so they surveyed nearly 400 fresh meat freshman–where the pressure to drink is the highest–from two universities. All of them took a fun-sounding “alcohol use disorders identification test” and 22 were found to be alcohol-dependent. They then used those profiles for the study.

The kids also knew their profiles were being monitored but that apparently didn’t deter them from posting about their drunken antics. After the first year of their four-year-long survey, just a third of the 22 college students referenced drinking alcohol. By the end, all but three of them were openly discussing drinking on their Facebook accounts and more than half of them were discussing (or perhaps bragging?) about their so-called problematic drinking. Good partying, everyone!

Megan Pumper, a clinical researcher on the study, explained to KOMO its purpose:

“If we could help people discover their dependence issues by using clues from Facebook, maybe we can help them sooner acknowledge that they may have a problem,” Pumper said.

She added that Facebook could be used as an intervention method, such as displaying ads about “healthy drinking tips” on alcohol-associated pages.

That’s one way to take the fun out of Bud Light Lime’s memes.

Follow Jordan Valinsky on Twitter or via RSS. jvalinsky@observer.com
Tags: Survey Says