The Glamorization of Drug Abuse In the Media

It is no secret that many celebrities are addicted to drugs and alcohol. It seems to have become cool to have a problem with a substance these days. Being intoxicated or high is the new fad. You really aren’t living your life unless you are addicted to something.

Wait, what? Really? This seems backwards, doesn’t it?

The ironic part of successful celebrities endorsing drug and alcohol abuse is that most people don’t get much done when using or drinking, but these people have reached fame and fortune while drunk and high.

Rappers, actors, and musicians are notorious for addictive personalities, and for talking about their struggles with addiction, but it seems that lately, more and more famous people are trying to hype their perceived stylishness of substance use.

The glamorization of drug abuse in the media is causing problems not only for the celebrities that suffer legal, interpersonal, professional, and health or mental health consequences of addiction, but also the impressionable young people who look on with admiration.

If a young person grew up watching the Batman movies, and loves the actors in each one, and wants to just like Val Kilmer, Christian Bale, or Kim Basinger, and then he or she sees Heath Ledger die from prescription painkiller use, what message does that send? Granted, Heath was not one of the people out promoting his drug problem, but it serves as an example of the media’s involvement in the spread of addiction stories.

The darker side of the media’s glamorization of drug abuse is more evident in the music industry. Rappers like Lil Wayne who write lyrics about codeine abuse by calling it “Sizzurp” and Kanye West who write about the drug Molly, with lyrics that encourage the fun of the Ecstasy-like drug, do not touch on the danger of a drug-abusing lifestyle.

And, instead of seeking treatment for addiction, Lil Wayne makes an effort to hide the health consequences he’s experienced. He was hospitalized for substance-related seizures that he tried to keep quiet.

Will the glamorization of drug abuse in the media get worse? It seems that there are new people with a positive message who are stepping into the public eye. The company Sober is Sexy (www.soberissexy.com) is spreading the word that being drug-free is cool with messages on t-shirts and phone covers saying “Heroin killed the radio star” and “The only coke I do is diet.”

Instead of buying into the seemingly glamorous world of fame and drug abuse, check out celebrities who are sending a positive message of a substance-free life.

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