Turn that music down!

Waiting by el patojo
Waiting, a photo by el patojo on Flickr.

There has been quite a lot of research I’ve seen over the years that points to the content of song lyrics having a link to health risks.

For example this paper suggested urban American young people were exposed to an estimated 27 cannabis references per day and concluded that there is an independent association between exposure to cannabis in popular music and early cannabis use.

While this Dutch study suggested:

The types of music that mark increased substance use may vary historically and cross-culturally, but, in general, preferences for nonmainstream music are associated positively with substance use, and preferences for mainstream pop and types of music preferred by adults (classical music) mark less substance use among adolescents.

Though they’re careful to say that no valid conclusions in the direction of causation can be made from their work.

Now I see a new Dutch study suggests that how we listen to music may also be linked to risk behaviours. Their research with nearly 1,000 young people found that:

Risky MP3-player listeners used cannabis more often during the past 4 weeks. Students exposed to risky sound levels during discotheque and pop concert attendance used cannabis less often during the past 4 weeks, were more often binge drinkers, and reported inconsistent condom use during sexual intercourse.

Festival drugs

The Guardian have produced this graphic about the drugs that were seized at music festivals last year.

The thing I notice is that apart from BZP at Glastonbury ‘legal highs’, and in particular Mephedrone, appear to be less significant than we might have expected.  However, this might be because of the sorts of festivals – not as many dance music acts? – or that the dealers weren’t detected (less likely).