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Impact of the Media and Celebrity Drug Addicts

It’s not like we haven’t heard of celebrity drug addicts before.  With countless amounts of widely-known celebrities being scrutinized by headline-hungry tabloid reporters, there’s no question as to whether their extensive fame and little privacy impacts their actions or decisions.  Because their personal lives are put under a microscope as the media and rest of the world amplify and criticize what seems like their every move, it’s no wonder why many people with fame frequently turn to abusing drugs and even wind up in a full-blown addiction, requiring inpatient drug rehabilitation treatment.  It’s clear to see the effect stardom has on people, but what role do these famous stars play in affecting the rest of the world?  Could they, or even the media in general, be inadvertently exploiting drug abuse and addiction in society?

Celebrity Drug Addicts Impact Society

Who is the most at risk for being exposed to misconceptions of celebrity drug addicts?

Taking a look at the facts, high school students are reported as spending an average of up to 40 hours of their time each week watching television and going online.  To put this into more perspective, this is on-par with the amount of time a person would work in one week at a full-time job.  In all this time spent watching actors on TV and exploring web sites with all kinds of world-wide industry news, these young viewers are being exposed to the common marketing of partying and other impulsive, potentially addictive behavior.  Teenagers probably don’t realize that their brains are, in theory, picking up on and storing subliminal messages from media that exposes them to celebrity drug addicts; studies are being analyzed to prove this theory true.  For this age group to be shown such presumably alluring activity and also just so happen to be the statistically-stated age that drug and/or alcohol exploration begins, it could definitely be argued that the relation between the two is more than a mere coincidence.  In fact, a study at Dartmouth Medical School proved that characters who smoked cigarettes in feature films had an impact on young adults wanting to smoke, so why would something like drugs and alcohol, also both known to be addicting substances, have a different result if displayed in the limelight?

When people, especially those that are young, hear about celebrity drug addicts, it isn’t always viewed negatively. Actually, to many it’s quite the opposite, as drugs and alcohol may seem more enticing to them now.  With music artists and rappers adding drug-related words to their lyrics, the media almost seems to portray a socially-acceptable world of excessive drug and alcohol use.  This may cause much more curiosity with the experimentation of drugs for virtually people of all ages but especially in the younger age range.  Maybe they figure if their idols and famous people are doing it, then they should too.  Little do they realize that picking up that first drink or drug could be the beginning of a vicious cycle of wanting more and more, to the point where they reach the pit of addiction.  To back this theory up, research at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine showed that children who were exposed to drug references through music (particularly pertaining to marijuana), had a greater chance of using the drug.

Hearing how celebrity drug addicts go back and forth by going in and out of drug treatment facilities, or even turn up dead in hotel rooms as a result of a drug overdose, doesn’t always instill a fear in the public’s eyes of abusing substances.  Whether they realize it or not, celebrities affect youth’s views, as well as the rest of the general public’s views, on drugs and alcohol.  It can be very dangerous for all ages to be viewing celebrities’ drug abuse, as the media may lack conveying the proper message of the negative consequences it results in.

It is important to keep in mind that there are even celebrity drug addicts that suffer from the disease of addiction and some of them do actually make the decision to confront the problem by seeking treatment.  If you believe that you or someone you know may be abusing or addicted to a substance, treatment is available and recovery is possible.

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