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Don’t Use Your Phone While High For This Reason, Warn Scientists

Being high and using smartphones leads to regrettable behavior in text messages, social media, and pictures.

Whenever I reconvene with my friends from high school and college, we always end up reminiscing about wild nights that include incredibly stupid and regrettable behavior. At some point, the conversation eventually veers into well-stamped territory—thank god, social media wasn’t as big then as it is now, someone will say while others nod along. Otherwise, there’d be documented evidence of what dumb idiots we can be.

This is a universal feeling, it turns out. According to a new survey published in Substance Abuse, people now really regret using their phone while intoxicated. Researched asked people “entering electronic dance music (EDM) parties in New York City” if they’d ever used illegal drugs. For the 872 people who said yes, they were then asked “whether they were ever high on a drug while (1) posting on social media, (2) calling or texting someone, and (3) being in a photo.”

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Then if they answered yes, researchers asked if they felt regret over such actions. For the analysis, the scientists determined “regret” by whether or not that person one felt dismayed or embarrassed over by the social and/or professional consequences of their actions. Being high, meanwhile, was gauged by marijuana, ecstasy, MDMA, and cocaine usage.

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Photo by I’m Priscilla via Unsplash

According to the survey, about a third posted (34.3%) post on social media while high and a fifth (21.4%) later regretted it. Calling exes and/or booty calls was more probably behavior, as more than half (55.9%) reported to doing so and 30.5% later regretted it. Lastly, just under half (47.6%) believe they had knowingly appeared in a photo posted online while high. This is where respondent most regretted the behavior (32.7%).

“Traditional prevention and harm reduction measures have not focused on the social risks of substance use with regard to social media and other forms of modern communication,” wrote researchers. “Although prevention programming has largely focused on physical safety (e.g., not driving after drinking), such programs can also stress that that simple use of a smart phone while high can increase risk for a user engaging in regretful behavior.”

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