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Drugs & Health Blog

InstaBuzzed: Celebrities, Drugs, and Social Media

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
The NIDA Blog Team

Do you like the summertime feel of Valencia, the creamy black and white texture of Willow, or the soft pastels of Nashville?  If you’re one of the 76% of teens are on Instagram, it’s likely you have a few “go-to” photo filters you use whenever you post. 

There are more teens on Instagram than any other social media platform—and many follow their favorite actors, singers, and athletes. With celebrities racking up millions of followers, it’s a bummer that some of them use their reach and power to promote their use of alcohol and drugs.

Wiz Khalifa, Diplo, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj have posted hundreds of pictures with drugs and alcohol. Recently, Miley Cyrus took a more shady approach posting a photo of herself wearing a t-shirt that says “In Love With the Coco,” which, by many accounts, is a reference to the O.T. Genesis song “Coco” about cocaine. More than 7% of Snoop Dogg’s Instagram photos involve drugs or alcohol.

It’s not just celebrities, right?  A quick search for the hashtag #marijuana reveals almost 2.8 million posts for just one drug-related hashtag.

Is Instagram a Marketplace for Drugs?

Beyond pictures of people doing drugs, many drug dealers are turning to Instagram to advertise their products. They post piles of pills and baggies full of weed with the same artistic filters applied to the pics of you and your besties. Though Instagram’s community rules prohibit sharing images that break the law, new drug-related hashtags and new user accounts pop up every day.

Instagram Life ≠ Real Life

We all know Instagram shows a color-corrected, filtered and cropped version of life. 

The reality is, drugs are not as popular with teens as social media might lead you to believe.  Most teens don’t use drugs.  Period.  Less than 24% of 12th graders, 18.5% of 10th graders, and 8% of 8th graders have used illicit drugs in the past month. Which, of course, we hope the downward trend continues and the shady business of posting about using or selling drug becomes yesterday’s news.

Tell us in the comments: How do you feel when you see drugs on social media? 

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


you guys are completely wrong on marijuana. Weed is not physically addictive and shouldn't even be compared to alchohal or tobacco. You guys also said that medical marijuana shouldnt be considered a medicine because the fad hasn't approved it. Well they approved painkillers and that kills thousands every year. It takes 40,000 times the normal dose to have a lethal dose of marijuana which is physically impossible to do. While morphine (which is basically processed heroin) takes only 70 times the normal dose to kill. I mean asprin is more dangerous than weed!!! Stop being so ignorant and just realize weed isn't nearly as bad as you think it is.
Sure m8, weed basically lowers your IQ and makes you process things much slower and im talking about long term effects not just short. If you are smoking weed, your making yourself dumber everyday. Even though your statistics prove u cant overdose its still something you dont need in ur life and either way its still a bad drug so therefore ur point is invalid.
Bruh you didnt even spell it right.....
You can't even spell it right... Its "Alchohol
ALCOHAL But fr, weed isnt very bad for you, compared to prescription, and even non prescription drugs.
it is addictive there are symptoms of withdrawel and i do think that maruwana should me considered madicinal for the right things
really help me wit school tanks :D
*With *Thanks
That drug addiction leads first to disable the functions of the brain cells and leads to where destroyed in the long term as well as the incidence of sexual weakness
thst's crazy.
I think that they are stupid and wanting to look mature or "cool" like their favorite celebrities.
it that high quality stuff
You guys cannot spell... None of you. Seriously.
I think that many teens would stop the use of drugs if they knew the true effect that it has on the brain, and not just the usual "drugs are bad for you" talk. The constant glorification of drugs is stopping the downward trend of the use of drugs, due to all of everyone's favorite celeb influencing the adolescent population without thinking about it. Hopefully soon social media will die down and hopefully drug abuse will go down along with it.
i agree
wow, I'll be sure to avoid all the drug related ads on Instagram
We shouldn't be fighting about grammar or spelling errors when such a huge problem is right in front of us! Drug abuse is a serious topic and celebrities shouldn't be promoting them, since they can be the cause for deaths or accidents. We should focus on trying to prevent drug use not only among teens but also for everyone. I am glad to hear that not many students resort to drug use.
I feel disappointed when I see drugs online especially from celebrities. In the article it says that most teens dont do drugs, but because of the constant images posted from celebrities, teens could potentially be influenced to start drugs even though theres consequences. There are some people who basically idolize them and if they see that they do drugs they might be like,"Hey my favorite celebrity does drugs, why dont I try it too?"
I think that drugs on social media are bad because once celebrities use them they can push teens to do drugs themselves because they want to be like the celebrity.
It is devastating how many kids will take drugs because they are influenced by celebrities. Celebrities have the power to promote other things like staying in school, not doing drugs and discovering your passions but instead they choose to promote drugs with their social media. It is important that teens are educated about the facts of drugs so they can not be easily influenced to take them.
The person who wrote this blog spelled Nicki Minaj wrong. That upsets me :/

Thanks for pointing that out! We've corrected the spelling.

I think celebrities need to own up to their responsibilities and recognize how many people look up to them. By posting pictures of drug usage, people advertise drugs as looking cool. While I personally do not care if celebrities do drugs as it is their decision and out of mu control, I think they need to be more responsible in advocating drugs to their followers.
when i see the WORD drugs i think, "why do people do it is is just SO bad for them!"