Dr. Dana Litt Shares Insights on Social Media and Substance Use during Washington State Health Care Authority Webinar

May 24, 2023 • News

Social Media 1In an engaging and informative webinar organized by the Washington State Health Care Authority, Dr. Dana Litt, Associate Professor in the School of Public Health, captivated an audience of over 100 substance use disorder treatment clinicians who serve youth. Dr. Litt’s presentation titled “Social Media and Risky Behavior Among Adolescents” was the final webinar in a year-long series called “Prevention and Health Promotion for Positive Youth Development: A Webinar Series for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Clinicians Who Serve Youth”.

By featuring experts like Dr. Litt, the series facilitates knowledge exchange and equips clinicians with the latest evidence-based practices, thereby strengthening the provision of quality care.

Dana Litt Photo
Dr. Dana Litt

Dr. Litt, an expert in the field of adolescent health risk behavior, began by summarizing the latest state of research related to social media’s influence on substance use among young people. She discussed the complex relationship between social media use and various substances, shedding light on the potential risks and benefits associated with digital platforms. With social media playing an increasingly prevalent role in the lives of today’s youth, Dr. Litt emphasized the importance of understanding its impact and developing effective strategies for prevention and health promotion.

During her webinar, Dr. Litt showcased data from her ongoing research, providing valuable insights into the association between social media engagement and substance use behaviors. By delving into her research findings, she highlighted the nuanced nature of these connections and debunked common misconceptions. The data revealed a multi-faceted relationship, where social media could act as both a facilitator and deterrent in youth substance use. Dr. Litt’s comprehensive analysis illuminated the need for tailored interventions and targeted approaches for substance use clinicians.

The webinar also served as a platform for Dr. Litt to discuss practical implications of her research for providers working directly with young individuals. She explored strategies for leveraging social media to enhance prevention efforts, including the use of evidence-based messaging, online support communities, and digital interventions. Dr. Litt emphasized the importance of adapting treatment approaches to account for the digital landscape, acknowledging the influential role social media plays in the lives of today’s youth.

The webinar received a great deal of positive feedback from the attendees, who praised Dr. Litt’s expertise, engaging delivery, and the practical applicability of her research. Many participants expressed their enthusiasm for incorporating the insights shared by Dr. Litt into their own practices, recognizing the potential impact it could have on addressing substance use disorders among young individuals.

As the webinar drew to a close, Dr. Litt left the attendees with a call to action, urging them to integrate the emerging research on social media and substance use into their work. By doing so, clinicians can enhance their ability to engage with and support youth on their path towards positive development and well-being.