Substance abuse is a major problem in the United States, and around the world, that is being deemed “cool” by nearly every form of popular culture. Singers, rappers, writers, and people in the spotlight are reinforcing the problem and almost encouraging substance abuse through song lyrics, television and movie characters, and even through their own behaviors.
It is no secret that many celebrities struggle with alcohol and drug addiction. We have seem talented figure after talented figure suffer great consequences when left untreated, and you can probably name five people who have died from drug and alcohol overdose and complications. The true effects of these drugs are not being portrayed along with the hype. Instead, the use of these damaging drugs is viewed as trendy, making its users seem nonchalant when expressing the need for an upper or a downer. Shrugging off the use of an opiate like Vicodin, a stimulant like Adderall, or a benzodiazepine (anti-anxiety medication) like Xanax, may be why we have lost so many young people to overdose fatalities.
Several prescription drugs were found in Heath Ledger’s system during his autopsy. It was pretty much the same story for Amy Winehouse, Anna Nicole Smith, Brittany Murphy, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston.
The latest addition to the problem is the fashion designer, Kitson. The company has released a series of various prescription drug endorsing pieces of clothing. One shirt looks like a football jersey, sporting a number and the name Vicodin, Adderall, or Xanax right above, seemingly to indicate that the wearer plays for that drug’s team.
Why is a famous and successful fashion designer endorsing extremely dangerous prescription drugs?
Vicodin, Adderall, and Xanax, among other prescription drugs, are killing people. Vicodin is the most widely abused prescription drug, and comes in second to marijuana in all drug abuse. The dangers of Vicodin, and other drugs in its class, called opiates, are beyond the current understanding of those casually popping the pills.
Celebrities are speaking out against the designer. Kristen Johnston, best known for her role as Sally Solomon on the TV show, 3rd Rock from the Sun, expressed her opinion on Twitter. She wrote, “Hey @KitsonLA do you really think this shit is funny? Millions are dying, & u want to make $ off it. SHAME ON YOU.” in response to the company’s advertisement that says, “Just what the doctor ordered” above images of women wearing the Vicodin, Adderall, and Xanax jerseys.
The concept was created by Brian Lichtenberg, who has released a statement in response to the negative feedback by saying basically he is simply responding to popular culture. He says he is giving people what they want, and since these are not illegal drugs, there is really no harm being done.
What do you think?
Is it right for this man, and a company like Kitson, to profit from the endorsement of drug use? Just because these drugs can be acquired legally through a doctor’s prescription does not mean the majority of their use is legal. In actuality, the abuse of prescription pills has reached the same rates of legitimate use.
Abusing a prescription drug means the user is taking a pill either in a method different than as his or her doctor prescribed, or is using a prescription drug without an appropriate prescription written for his or her personal use. This means that if your sister is given a prescription for Xanax because she has been clinically diagnosed with debilitating anxiety, your use of her Xanax is abuse, which is illegal.
Kitson has a line of clothing available for kids too. What message is this sending to our next generation?