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Dangerous Trends that Promote Teen Drug Use (Main focus TikTok in UK)



TikTok is a social media app that allows users to create and share short video clips. Initially launched in China in 2016, the app now has over 1 billion active users worldwide, with approximately 200 million active users in the UK alone.

While TikTok has been praised for its positive impact on self-expression, it has also been criticized for encouraging illegal activities such as drug use among some young users.


As part of our series on teen drug use trends – this blog looks at how young people are using TikTok to share their experiences taking drugs, alongside recommendations on how parents can keep their children safe while they are online.

Table of Contents

The rise of TikTok

You may have seen some of the videos on TikTok. You may even have watched one yourself. The app allows users to create and share short videos, which are usually 15 seconds long or shorter. 

It is the first video platform that has taken off in popularity among young people in the UK, with 41% of 16-19-year olds using it at least once a week as of 2019.

Joanna Brookes, who works with drug addicts at a substance abuse charity called Addaction, told BBC Newsbeat: 

“TikTok is quite addictive for people who might not be used to having their voices heard because they don’t normally get listened to.”

She said she had seen children as young as 10 years old making content for the app after seeing others do so online or being encouraged by friends at school 

– though these cases are rarer than they were in 2018.


What is the ‘TikTok drug trend’?

The rise of TikTok has resulted in several content creators using the platform to promote drug use.

Many videos on TikTok feature young people encouraging viewers to take tablets or other drugs and record themselves while they are high. 

Teens often upload the content as a joke, but some young people may see these videos (especially if they’re more than just friends with those uploading them) and think it’s OK to try drugs for the first time. 

Some of these drug-related videos have been viewed millions of times by children who copy them without knowing what the drugs are doing inside their bodies.

TikTok is a social media app that allows users to record short videos and share them on their profiles or, more commonly, on other platforms such as Instagram. 

It is popular with young people, who use it to create and share short music videos of themselves singing or dancing to popular tracks.


In some videos, users take part in challenges that encourage them to get high and carry out dangerous tasks

In some videos, users take part in challenges that encourage them to get high and carry out dangerous tasks. 

For example, one video shows a young man inhaling helium to make his voice sound like a chipmunk’s. Another shows the same person with his friend lying in the street while he lights up a cigarette next to them. 

In another video, a teenager is seen pouring alcohol into her mouth while underage at least three times before getting into trouble with an adult who confiscates her drinks.

The content of these videos should be taken down immediately by TikTok

 — they are extremely dangerous examples of how drugs can be used as well as an extreme example of what needs to be addressed by social media platforms such as TikTok for them not only become safer places but also open up opportunities for those who need support from mental health professionals or addiction specialists if necessary.


Users can find lots of different accounts dedicated to people sharing drug experiences in the UK

These videos tend to be uploaded by young people who want to express themselves creatively, but they often feature disturbing imagery and even violence, as well as drug use.

Once you’ve discovered an account that features these kinds of videos, make sure you don’t follow them on social media or anywhere else!


Drug dealing groups are using TikTok to promote substances on the app

Drug dealing groups are using TikTok to promote substances on the app. They often use hashtags like #tiktok, #tiktokchallenge or #tiktokaddict.

The drug-dealing groups upload videos with titles like “My First Time Smoking Weed!” 

that depicts young people smoking cannabis, including one video where a teenager is shown tobacco casually from a bong and saying “I just got high on weed for the first time in my life”. 

This type of content normalizes drug use among teens which can lead to experimentation with drugs at an early age.


How big is the problem?

The number of TikTok users in the UK has grown by over 300% in the last year. This means that there are now more than 6 million TikTok users in Britain alone.

TikTok is now more popular than Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter combined. The app has been downloaded by over 100 million people worldwide, with about one-third of those being teenagers aged 13 to 17.


What is being done about this?

The main thing that needs to be done is parents need to have conversations with their children about these dangers. 

The government is also working with social media sites like TikTok and Instagram to remove harmful content and make sure that we are taking action against anyone who posts drugs or helps promote them.


Takeaway:" Tiktok challenges have been linked with various illegal activities, and I believe it is important for young users to be aware of these risks"

The takeaway message from this article is that you should be aware of the potential harm that could come with participating in TikTok challenges. 

I believe it is essential for young users to be aware of these risks, and I hope this article will help you make better-informed decisions about your online activity.

While we can’t control what happens on TikTok, we must do all we can to ensure our children are safe online. 

Parents need to talk about the risks of drugs with their kids and monitor them closely if they spend time on this platform. 

I am glad there are so many campaigns raising awareness about the dangers of TikTok challenges among young people because together we can fight back against this epidemic before it spreads even further through society!


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