Effective Online Safety Tips to Keep Teens Safe from Drugs

teens safe drugs Posted On
Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

Guest post by Marcel Gemme

Despite the benefits of technology, there are many hidden dangers. Impressionable young minds soak up information daily. Unfortunately, during this process, teens often develop misconceptions about alcohol and drug use and its effects. Most troubling is that many drugs are easily found and bought online.

Early substance use may have lasting effects on an individual’s mental health, and as a parent, it is vital to take preventative steps. Here are some of the best online safety tips to keep teens safe from drugs.

Protecting Teens from Drugs Online

Understand and Learn Social Media and Keep Teens Safe from Drugs

Studies have shown that drugs are sold on social media. Experts believe that social bonds, low levels of self-control, and poor mental health are associated with buying drugs online.

  • 77% of individuals who buy drugs online use social media.
  • 96% of websites selling prescription medications are operating illegally. In addition, over half of the products are counterfeit.

Facebook, for example, has become a fruitful marketplace for drug sellers. Deals are made in secret or in the open. A simple search on Facebook for “pain medication” leads you to profiles of fake pharmacies.

The pandemic significantly boosted online sales of counterfeit medications. Some of the most commonly used social medial platforms to purchase sedatives, stimulants, and narcotic medications include:

  • Tumbler
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest
  • WeChat
  • Facebook

What Can Parents Do?

According to Marcel Gemme of, When monitoring online activity, it is important to fully understand what you are looking at Initially, parents should know the social media platforms their children are using—download the app or read more about how it works. Make your kids aware of some of the risks and dangers associated with using these platforms. Speak with them about social media and how to stay safe.

teens drugs

Be Aware of the Dark Web

Also known as the darknet or deep net, it is a part of the internet that is accessed only through special software. Drug trafficking is an everyday illegal activity found on the dark web. Today’s teenagers are quite tech-savvy, and it would not be a problem to access the dark web and purchase illegal drugs.

What Can Parents Do?

  • Parents can monitor specific things surrounding the dark web. For example, look for TOR (The Onion Router) software downloaded on a device—this is the main web browser used to access the dark web.
  • Be aware of any activity involving digital currency or cryptocurrency, which are payment methods used on the dark web.
  • Pay attention to packages arriving at the house, especially those that are not part of the regular package deliveries.

Illegal Online Pharmacies are a Problem

It is estimated that roughly 95 to 96% of internet pharmacies operate illegally. Most of these operations are based abroad, which means individuals of any age can access these sites and make purchases. The significant danger with buying drugs off the internet is not knowing what one is really getting.

What Can Parents Do?

  • Search your child’s web browser history.
  • Be on the lookout for unfamiliar packages.
  • Set up website blockers or filtering software.
  • Talk to your kids about the dangers of prescription drugs, illegal medication, and illicit street drugs.
  • Check bank statements.
  • Pay attention to behavior.
teens drugs

Prevention and Education are Key

Maintain a direct, candid dialogue with your child. It is important to educate about the dangers and risks of substance use and addiction.

Children should be able to communicate what is happening at school, including drug or alcohol use among their peers.

Additionally, discuss internet safety and teach this at a young age. Early prevention saves lives, and education keeps communication lines open.

 5 Tips for Keeping Teens Safe From Drugs Online

Tips for Keeping Teens Safe from Opioid Sales

Preventing Drug Use: Connecting and Talking with Your Teen

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