A New Study Uses Social Media To Measure Drug Use At Music Festivals

Researchers tracked drug references on Instagram.

The studies just keep coming: yesterday, Drugabuse.com unveiled the results of an investigation of drug use at music festivals. How did they measure these mostly-illicit activities? By tracking drug references made in Instagram posts about 15 different festivals. Of course, this doesn't actually tell you how many people are doing drugs, since it misses those people who do drugs and don't Instagram about it, as well as the people who Instagram about a festival but don't mention the drugs they're doing, or the people who Instagram about the drugs they're doing but forget to tag the festival. (And of course, drug references in a social media post don't necessarily mean that the poster is doing those drugs.)

But this methodology might provide a rough picture of the extent to which drug conversations are tied into the culture of different festivals. Mostly, the results of the study confirm what you would suspect: the highest amount of weed references, for example, came at the Marley Fest. Mentions of ecstasy occurred most often at electronic music festivals like Electric Daisy and Ultra Music.

See the results of the study over at Billboard.

Lead Image: Fernando Camino / Getty Images

A New Study Uses Social Media To Measure Drug Use At Music Festivals