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Study: YouTube Videos Featuring Drinking Likely Don't Mention Negative Consequences

Brian Primack, a physician and researcher at The University of Pittsburgh, is the lead author on a content analysis published Friday in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

According to the analysis, the 70 most popular videos that depict drunkenness on YouTube have more than 330 million views.

Primack and fellow researchers searched YouTube for words synonymous with alcohol intoxication: drunk, buzzed, hammered, tipsy and trashed.

In their research they found that humor and alcohol were linked in 79 percent of the videos; 86 percent of the videos showed active intoxication while only 7 percent referred to alcohol dependence and motor vehicle use was used in 24 percent of all videos.

Primack said it's known that young people tend to imitate behaviors they see in movies and television. They are also very influenced by what their peers say and do.

“Social media like YouTube sort of combine both of these potentially powerful influences,” he said.

Primack says the popularity of these videos could be used as a chance for public health education for adolescents and young adults.