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With more than 40 million users strong, the digital phone-app Instagram has a new disturbing trend. Instead of rich kids glorifying their lavish lifestyles, heroin and prescription drug addicts are addicted to posting pics of their deadly habits.

Going under the hashtag of #junkieofig, or Junkies of Instagram, the collection of images includes needles, spoons and even bags of what appear to be heroin.

The disturbing pics are in clear violation of Instagram Terms of Use which prohibit unlawful images or content.

While it is impossible to verify if the items in the photographs are actually illegal narcotics, the images still carry horrifying messages attached, praising drug culture. And this message is hitting a young audience.

While the legal age to join Instagram is the same as Facebook – set at 13 – according to reports, it is the top photography site among teens aged 12-17 with one million teenagers visiting the site in July alone last year.

For those of you who think this is funny. Here’s a snapshot of the huge drug problem here in the United States. According to the CDC:

  • 100 people die from drug overdoses every day in the United States
  • Drug overdose was responsible for 38,329 deaths in the US in 2010
  • US overdose deaths have increased for 11 successive years
  •  In 2012 the number-one cause of death in 17 US states was prescription drug abuse more than those who die in car accidents

Not a pretty picture now is it.

And that’s today’s helping of The Online Dish with Maggie.