Drug Use in Film Essay

2796 WordsMar 24, 201512 Pages
The Romanticizing of Illicit Drug Use in Film Americans have become so obsessed with celebrity culture that illicit drug use in film uses that to often portray it as glitzy and glamorous. Drug use is frequently characterized in the fashion of how it actually ensues on the street, or in whatever venue it occurs. This use of drugs has been depicted as both tempting and alluring, as well as, disgusting and corrupt. The film industry has taken this taboo and shown the highs and lows of drug use. It is apparent to some that drug, alcohol, and tobacco use is glamorized on the big screen. This causes officials of the federal government to question where the downside to substance abuse is. There is an unglamorous side to substance abuse. People have slurred speech, hangovers, and getting into trouble with the police is a big problem with substance abuse (Riechmann 19A). If movies are going to portray drug use, they should also show the bad side to substance abuse. If they were to do so, the romance with drug use on the big screen might very well become diminished. It has recently been determined "people were depicted doing drugs, drinking or smoking in 98 percent of the top movie rentals and 27 percent of the most popular songs in 1996 and 1997. Fewer than half these movie scenes and song lyrics mentioned any downside to these activities" (Riechmann 19A). The Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Department of Health and Human Services commissioned the study of 200 films and 1,000 songs (Riechmann 19A). This proves the romance that America has with drug use in the movies. The movies present drug use in a manner in which wealth and luxury are portrayed. Drug kingpins are filthy rich. They have no lack for anything of a material nature. They have expensive homes and automobiles. They have jets or helicopters. They travel and stay at

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