What started out as merely platforms to connect with people has become so much more.
Along with cute dog pictures on Facebook, food porn on Instagram, and trolling tweets on Twitter, police are now using social media to make drug busts. The internet creates a false sense of protection, and the result is that many people are getting caught for what they are posting or doing online.
Drug Busts From Social Media
Social media has risen in popularity tremendously over the last decade. Everyone from your middle school niece to your 80-year old grandpa seems to have some type of account. With people posting on a daily basis and making their lives much more public than in years past, police across the United States are using it to their full advantage. What many people do not realize is that what they post online can be used against them in court. Screenshots of text messages have become common evidence in custody cases and now posts of illegal substances are leading to drug busts and arrests.
In Louisiana, two suspected drug dealers were arrested this year after sending a Snapchat that involved marijuana use at their apartment. When the police came knocking to search the apartment, they found enough to book the two into jail.1 They aren’t the only ones who have learned the hard way that what is posted on social media matters. Another social media drug bust came as the result of a Facebook post about giving someone marijuana wax in exchange for food. After commenting with his address, police got a warrant and discovered marijuana, cocaine, and drug paraphernalia in his apartment.2
Although some people are simply posting about drugs and their drug use, other people are taking it one step further. People have also started to sell drugs on social media as well. Two teens in Arkansas were arrested for using Snapchat to sell illegal narcotics. When police confronted the teens, they found THC pens, ecstasy, and Xanax.3 One research study found that 76% of drug users surveyed said they regularly use Snapchat to buy drugs and 21% preferred to use Instagram for the same reason.4 For people addicted to drugs, social media has become a new and easier way to get what they need.
As a drug rehab in Pennsylvania, this new trend is frightening. Not only can easier access to drugs lead to more addiction but also selling and buying drugs online is not safe. Many young people are unaware of the dangers of what they post and do online. They neglect to realize that the internet in not anonymous and you can be held accountable for your actions online. Instead of you or your child becoming another social media drug bust story, get help.
At Clearbrook Treatment Centers, our residential addiction treatment in PA could help you or your loved one overcome a substance abuse problem and avoid making news headlines. To learn more about our various programs and services, reach out to us at 570-536-9621.
- Houmatoday – Sheriff: Social media posts lead to drug bust
- Local News 8 – Social media post leads to felony drug arrest
- Texarkana Gazette – Social media posts lead to drug task force sting resulting in arrests of two Texarkana residents
- Royal Holloway University of London – #Drugsforsale – The rise of the social media drug dealer