It is certainly not uncommon to see and hear about drug use when you turn on the television or listen to today’s musical artists. The media and television play a significant role in what teens consider trendy and cool.
In recent years, many people have questioned if the media glorifies drug use and addiction. As a parent, if your child begins drug use or you notice changes in their behavior, it can be easy to blame their social circle and friends. However, the source of their influence may be social media, television, or music.
Glamorizing Teen Substance Use in the Media
The issue with the display of drug use through various forms of media is that while the intentions behind these shows aren’t to harm or misinform, it can feel like the media is giving a generic, if not cliche, interpretation of drug use.
Drug use has found a way to trickle into almost all forms of media related to teens, whether on popular tv shows, song lyrics, or social media posts. While it is no secret that most teens use or have come into contact with substances, media can warp their perception and spin the narrative that drug use is part of being a teenager.
Drug Use in TV Shows
There are many popular shows, such as HBO’s Euphoria and FX’s Snowfall, centered around drug use, selling drugs, and addiction. While these shows don’t necessarily show addiction and drug use in a completely inaccurate light, many people have stated that they might glamorize them.
Many shows have begun to aestheticize drug use through cinematography, clothing choices, and how they portray specific characters. TV shows and Hollywood sometimes show addiction-related behaviors as a life of excitement with danger mixed in. They often incorporate high rates of sex and parties into drug use which can become mistaken for glamorizing addiction.
Characters Don’t Always Face Consequences
Binge drinking is one of the most common forms of substance use shown in teen TV shows. However, it indicates a false representation of characters being able to control their drinking and function while intoxicated. Many characters don’t face the consequences of their actions. When they do drink and become under the influence, they are often shown through the idea of being quirky, rebellious, and not caring.
In reality, these moments are often embarrassing and traumatizing. Parental consequences rarely follow, and sometimes the parents overlook that their teen has a drug issue.
Drug Use in Music
Teens may use drugs to connect with their favorite artists or try and live the lifestyle they hear them talk about in the music. Although musicians and artists might reference specific drugs, some artists do not use nor have experience with the drugs they reference. This is dangerous because they suggest a lifestyle they do not live; however, some of their young listeners may try to recreate or connect with those behaviors.
In music, sometimes drugs are used to signify wealth and a lavish lifestyle. In specific genres like rap, excessive marijuana use is referenced as a casual and socially acceptable thing. There is a common misconception that marijuana is not an addictive substance; however, this is false. Many teens and adults battle with marijuana addiction but never seek help because society has deemed marijuana non-addictive.
Drug Use in Social Media
Social media has become one of the biggest platforms for teens to interact. Whether it is Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, or Snapchat, teens have become accustomed to social life online. What also comes with social media is another platform where drug use is often distorted. Social media doesn’t always provide the full scope of addiction.
Celebrities and users often make their posts aesthetically pleasing to the eye to maintain an overall theme. You don’t always see the struggles or the trauma that influence their drug use and how they use drugs to mask negative feelings.
Tips for Parents
If you believe your child has begun to use alcohol or drugs due to influences from the media, there are actions you can take to help. Your first line of action should be to seek help for their addiction and drug use. Residential or outpatient treatment offers your child intensive professional help for addiction recovery.
During treatment, therapists can teach your child how to exercise discretion over what they consume from the media and what may bring harm to them. As they work towards sobriety, help them stay mindful of what is appropriate to take away from the media and what is considered harmful.
If your teen is currently struggling with addiction, Clearfork Academy has all the right tools to help them get on track and manage their sobriety. We are an addiction treatment center focused on helping teenagers. We help teens overcome serious drug use and manage co-occurring mental disorders. Whether your teen is in the thick of their addiction and needs intensive inpatient rehabilitation or they need a more flexible treatment plan such as outpatient therapy, we offer both. During treatment, our therapists and staff will help your teen learn life skills and coping strategies to help them face life’s challenges without substances. Don’t wait until your child is too far deep into their addiction; take action now by getting your child the help they need. To find out more about our programs and how we can benefit your child’s recovery process, call Clearfork Academy today at (888) 966-8604.