by Gopalan on  April 5, 2009 at 8:24 PM Lifestyle News
 Facebook Saves Life of British Teenager
Facebook, the social networking site, can be used to save life too, a US girl has shown.

She was able to alert authorities who tracked down the boy who hinted that he intended committing suicide.

While chatting online Wednesday night, a 16-year-old boy from Oxfordshire told the Maryland girl, the teenager said: 'I'm going away to do something I've been thinking about for a while then everyone will find out.'

She didn't know his address, but told her parents of the situation. The latter, in turn, contacted the British Embassy in Washington DC, which tipped off Scotland Yard.

Told that the boy went to a school in Oxfordshire, the Yard alerted Thames Valley Police at 12.25am on Thursday.

Staff at the force's control centre in Abingdon had just a name to go on but narrowed the search to eight addresses in the county.

Officers were dispatched to each location and three hours after the boy had filed his Facebook message, he was found at home - alive but suffering the effects of a drug overdose, Daily Mail reported.

The teenager, who has not been named, was conscious and taken by ambulance to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

He has since been released and is recovering at home.

Thames Valley Chief Superintendent Brendan O'Dowda praised the tenacity of those involved on both sides of the Atlantic. 'It took up time and effort but it was time and effort absolutely well spent,' he said.

Elders tend to look down upon Facebook as a not very welcome distraction of the youth. Indeed researchers have found that 54 percent of adolescents frequently use social networking websites like MySpace as a platform to discuss high-risk activities including sexual behaviour, substance abuse or violence.

The US girl's alert is now sure to show such websites in a new perspective.

Source: Medindia

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