234156 Influences of social media on prescription drug abuse– what we know, what we need to learn

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM

Robert Denniston, MA , National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, ONDCP, Washington, DC
The influence of media on health behaviors has long been researched and debated. Generally, evidence points to the existence of such influence, positive and negative, on some health behaviors among some populations under some circumstances. With the dramatic changes in media technology and ubiquity, along with the growth in time spent with social media as well as user-generated media content (in particular by youth) the debate continues, with new questions as to whether and to what degree exposure to prescription drug-related content through social networking sites, including both marketing messages as well as user-generated content, might have an influence on the demand for prescription drugs for purposes of abuse. The means for such influence might include altering perceptions of risks and benefits, norms and expectations, and access to such products. Little research has been conducted to date on this issue, but evidence from related topics such as tobacco and alcohol provide some relevant information. This presentation summarizes what is known about the nature and extent of prescription drug-related content on social networking sites (especially those favored by youth), illustrates such content, identifies the principal sources of such content, and identifies gaps in the knowledge as to whether such content can influence behaviors of teens and young adults.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the current trends in use of social networking sites by teens, the general level and tone of prescription drug content, and the key sources of such content Describe the evidence related to the influence of media on health behaviors in other substance abuse related problems Identify the gaps in knowledge that require additional research to understand the impact of social networking sites on prescription drug abuse

Keywords: Networking, Prescription Drug Use Patterns

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have presented at the majority of APHA conferences in the past 20 years, have organized and moderated APHA sessions, and have monitored the research in this particular issue over the past few years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.