Stay Off Your Phone While You're High, Study Says
A new survey asked partiers about their phone and social media activity while they were on drugs. And a good chunk of respondents said they regretted posting while toasted.
Published on August 12, 2019

We’ve all done this before: Got trashed at the club, whipped out the phone, texted an ex or posted a selfie in an inappropriate or compromising pose, only to wake up the next morning to discover our inebriated photo just ended up in our family’s Facebook feeds. Or worse, that horrible ex is texting back thinking an easy hook-up is just around the corner.

A new survey recently published in the journal Substance Abuse found that about a third of attendees at “electronic dance music (EDM) parties in New York City” who “reported lifetime illegal drug use” said they regretted interacting with their phones (or others’ phones) while blasted on club drugs like weed, ecstasy, or cocaine.

The survey compiled self-reported data from 872 adults (60 percent male, 40 percent female). They were asked if they ever engaged in these three activities while fucked up: “(1) posting on social media, (2) calling or texting someone, and (3) being in a photo.”

Of those surveyed, 34 percent made social posts while intoxicated (21 percent regretted it); 56 percent coke-dialed an ex or texted someone while lit (30 percent regretted it); and 47 percent posed for a photo while inebriated (with at least 32 percent regretting that).

The researchers assessed “regret” as feeling embarrassed by the professional or social fallouts caused by making the posts, though interpersonal consequences were also considered.

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The study also revealed higher- and lower-risk disparities based on demographics. For example, female respondents and younger adults (aged 18 to 24) were at a higher risk of posting on socials while high AF. Meanwhile, black respondents were the least likely to take photos of themselves or post about their drug use online (for obvious reasons).

Sexual identity and income levels also determined risks. Wealthier respondents (those making more than $1,000 a week) were most likely to engage in these behaviors while lifted compared to those at lower income brackets. And those who did not identify as “heterosexual” were more likely to engage in all three risk categories.

What’s this all mean? It means that even for people with privilege (wealth, Caucasian identity, male-identifying), one-third of them still regretted making social media posts or sending texts while blasted out of their gourds.

So there’s your takeaway: If you’re going to screw around with your phone while you’re higher than a kite floating over Denver, make sure it’s for ordering a Lyft or some late-night munchies. Otherwise, you’ve got a one-in-three chance that you’ll wish you didn’t. 

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Randy Robinson
Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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