More than half of the study participants had called or texted someone while high, and more than 30% regretted that decision.
“Risky social media posts, including those showing people high on drugs, have the potential to cause embarrassment, stress, and conflict for users and those in their social networks,” Palamar said in a press release. “It can also have adverse implications for one’s career, since the majority of employers now use social media platforms to screen job candidates and may search for evidence of substance use.”
Palamar said the fact that people regret their posts, texts or calls speaks for itself.
“At least one in five experienced regret after engaging in these behaviors while high, suggesting that some situations may have resulted in socially harmful or embarrassing scenarios,” he said.
Younger people (ages 18-24) and females were the most likely to use social media or phones in a way they later regretted. People who identified as neither heterosexual, gay or bisexual were at an increased risk of social media posts, while black study participants were much less likely to post, text or call.
People using marijuana were the most likely to make posts, followed by those who were using cocaine.
Palamar and study co-author Austin Le, a research associate in the NYU Langone Department of Population Health, said that their research indicates that harm reduction efforts need to include the social consequences of getting high.
“While more research is needed, our findings suggest a need for prevention or harm reduction programs to educate high-risk groups not only about the adverse health effects of substance use, but also about the potential negative social outcomes,” Le said.