Are Teenagers Replacing Drugs With Smartphones?

Matt Richtel writing for The New York Times:

Amid an opioid epidemic, the rise of deadly synthetic drugs and the widening legalization of marijuana, a curious bright spot has emerged in the youth drug culture: American teenagers are growing less likely to try or regularly use drugs, including alcohol.

With minor fits and starts, the trend has been building for a decade, with no clear understanding as to why. Some experts theorize that falling cigarette-smoking rates are cutting into a key gateway to drugs, or that antidrug education campaigns, long a largely failed enterprise, have finally taken hold.

But researchers are starting to ponder an intriguing question: Are teenagers using drugs less in part because they are constantly stimulated and entertained by their computers and phones?

I think it’s an interesting concept. However, I would argue that the lack of drug use could be for a variety of reasons. Technology in this case is an easy culprit, the same way video games are for violence.

I would also love to see if there is correlating data to see there’s been a drop off in athletics as well. In other words, are teenagers dropping out of real life social activities (good or bad) for online activities?

via Are Teenagers Replacing Drugs With Smartphones? – The New York Times