The Office of National Drug Control Policy recently released results of a joint study with Nielson on exposure of teens (age 13-18) to online videos with drug and alcohol-related content (see the summary here). Among the findings:

  • Of 18mm ‘unique viewers’, teens watched an average of 35 videos in one month. Of these, about 1 video per person contained drug or alcohol-related content
  • About 5% of online teens viewed a video with drug or alcohol-related content
  • Females were slightly more likely to watch videos with drug or alcohol-related context (57% to 43%)
  • More than 2/3 of viewers of drug and alcohol-related context were under age 16
  • 78% of drug-related videos included positive comments on drug use, 40% of videos showed explicit drug use.

What are we to make of this? Well, one ought not be too concerned if only 5% of teens viewed videos that some may deem dangerous or objectionable. And, we don’t know that watchers end up being users. On the other hand, it looks as if a small percentage of teens are watching a lot of stoner videos. And, there’s one more rub: the methodology section gives no information on whether or not kids knew they were being monitored (I suspect they did). After all that, should we be concerned about a nefarious You Tube-drug use link? I dunno.