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EDITORIAL: Celebrities can help curb crisis with addiction | Editorial

The good news is that there is no evidence that more Americans started using drugs in the past year. Rather, the increased deaths are most likely people who are already struggling with addiction problems, said Monnat.

South Carolina residents believe that celebrity influencers can play a key role in ensuring people are no longer addicted to drug use.

The internet can turn almost any topic viral – including substance use awareness. The #sober tag currently has more than 3.2 million posts on Instagram and #soberlife has over 1.7 million, which shows the power of social media in talking about addiction and recovery.

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LagunaTreatment.com conducted a survey of 3,000 social media users and found that over 1 in 3 (34%) social media users in South Carolina say influencers are strong advocates of addiction awareness and substance abuse prevention. More than a third of respondents believe that given the range of their following, celebrities have a social responsibility to promote clean, substance-free lifestyles.

When it comes to sharing research-based and scientific information on social media, rampant misinformation can make it very difficult. In fact, during the pandemic, Instagram updated its moderation policy to prevent the spread of misinformation. This is why it makes sense why 1 in 5 people think that influencer posts that promote addiction awareness should be accompanied by links to medically recognized sources on the topic.

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