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Social media is used as a platform for drugs, Volteface study reveals

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by Startacus Admin

social media and illicit drugs
According to a study recently carried out by the advocacy group Volteface, it has been revealed that social media platforms are frequently being used in order to advertise illicit drugs.

Unfortunately, the same research has concluded that advertisements for illegal drugs is being promoted to young people and even children.

How many people have seen the adverts for illicit drugs?

The report has found out that on average one in four young people have seen drug adverts on social media sites. social media and illicit drugs

The poll involved over 2,006 16-24-year-olds across the country, which was nationally representative and conducted by Survation. The study involved asking the participants questions regarding drug adverts on social media platforms.

Potentially worrying is also the fact that the Volteface study has revealed that nearly half of under 18s who were questioned in the survey were not worried about illegal drug ads appearing on their social media. 

Which platforms involved the most adverts for drugs?

In the study, those who participated were asked which platforms they saw advertisements by drug dealers. They revealed that most ads for substances were from Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook.

For example, 56% of those who said they had witnessed drugs for sale on social media said they saw them on Snapchat, whilst 55% said they saw drug ads on Instagram and 47% on Facebook.

A spokesman from ZAK Agency, an independent creative agency generating big brand ideas that engage under 30s, commented:

“Digital marketers are able to find ways around the strict marketing guidelines and still social media and illicit drugs studypromote illegal products and substances – meanwhile some legitimate products struggle to get approved in the first place.’

‘It is certainly a call for social media giants to get even stricter with what they advertise and for consumers to report anything suspicious whenever they can.”

What drug was being advertised the most online? 

In terms of the substance that was being the most widely advertised online to young people, those in the survey said it was cannabis, with 63% of participants seeing it sold online. This was followed by cocaine, seen by 26% of respondents and 24% seeing ecstasy being sold online. 

It was also prescription drugs that had been mentioned as being sold online on social media platforms. For example, over 20% of respondents stated they had seen advertisements for the benzodiazepine Xanax. 



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Published on: 15th October 2019

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