Facebook Could Be A Good Test For Alcoholism Warning Signs

Facebook Drunk

Facebook gives us a snippet of real life. If you’re constantly posting pictures and statuses about being drunk and wrecked and all of that, it COULD mean that you have the warning signs of alcoholism.

According to a new study, that is:

Researchers found that students who had pictures or posts about getting drunk or blacking out were more likely to be at risk of drinking problems, based on a screening test. That was not necessarily the case for students who mentioned alcohol or drinking on their pages, but not in a way that showed that they drank too much or in unhealthy situations.

The findings suggest that messages on Facebook sites do seem to be linked to what happens in the “real world,” he told.

Not shocking, but totally interesting!

Here’s what they did exactly, and it seems pretty legit:

Dr. Megan Moreno from the University of Wisconsin-Madison led a team of researchers from her university and the University of Washington in Seattle who surveyed the Facebook pages, including photos and posts, of 224 undergrads with publicly-available profiles.

About two-thirds of those students had no references to alcohol or drinking on their pages. The rest of the pages mentioned or had pictures of social, non-problematic drinking or more serious and risky alcohol use, including riding in a car while drunk or getting in trouble related to drinking.

The researchers brought all the students in for a 10-question screening test used to determine who is at risk for problem drinking. That test assesses the frequency of drinking and binge drinking as well as negative consequences from alcohol use.

Close to six in ten of the students whose Facebook pages had references to drunkenness and other dangerous drinking scored above the cutoff showing a risk for alcohol abuse and dependence, as well as other drinking-related problems.

So what does this mean?

This means that potentially RA’s can be trained in Facebook alcohol detection practices. Learn to see that there could be issues with certain residents, and make sure to check in on them periodically.

But is this an invasion of privacy? Well, maybe. If they’ve been accepted as a friend, how much different is it to use it to look out for their residents?

It probably comes down to personal opinion, but, wouldn’t you rather an RA approaching your kid if they’re worried?

And, luckily with the new and creepy Timeline feature on its way, you’ll be able to watch your descent into alcoholism! On one page!

Facebook. What can’t it do?

Thanks, Zuck!

[Image via AP Images.]

Oct 4, 2011 6:00pm PDT

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