Drug Abuse and Pop Culture

Topics: Drug addiction, Mass media, Illegal drug trade Pages: 2 (545 words) Published: January 10, 2014

There is a good deal of concern that media depictions of illicit drugs, alcohol, or tobacco inaccurately portray the true nature of drug abuse and its negative consequences. I want to describe how I feel the social problem of drug abuse is reflected by the media through music and television. However, I mainly want to focus on the influence of music videos. I think that drug abuse has been overly glamorized showing the younger generation that using illicit drugs (mainly marijuana) is socially acceptable. Not only is marijuana glamorized but alcohol is as well.

Music videos featuring performers and sexually clad women using illicit drugs and alcohol can be found on several channels. The main video channels that I watch are BET, MTV, and VH-1. These channels cater to audiences of different ages, gender, and music preferences. These channels feature different Rap/Hip-Hop, Mainstream Rock, and Alternative Rock videos. The frequency of illicit drugs and alcohol found in music videos is very common; this medium appeals to primarily teenagers and young adults.

I found that the one common factor in the videos and photographs show exhaled smoke or a trail of smoke from the performer. I concur that the smoke is either coming from marijuana blunt or dope pipe. Illicit drugs were portrayed more so verbally and alcohol and tobacco visually. Mainstream Rock portrayed illicit drugs visually meaning an actual visual depiction of illicit drugs are consumed. However, marijuana was most commonly referred to in rap lyrics and drug use or drug dealing as a major theme. Out of all the videos I watched only one conveyed a clear-anti drug message, however most videos were unclear sending mixed messages.

Alcohol is most frequently visually portrayed in most videos and films. Alcohol is mainly associated with “partying”. I also think sex/eroticism can be found as a dominant theme with the portrayals of alcohol. Although substance abuse is portrayed in some...
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