Drugs in the Media and What It Says About Us

Substance abuse in Dubois County is the primary focus of this council, and so we’ll be writing future posts related to the subject. We’ll be covering drug abuse, mental health, relationship help, among other topics. These are all related to helping people get clean, so they are all fair game for discussion.

Drug abuse in the United states is not a small topic to tackle. One things that most of us have experience with, and which we can all relate to is exposure in the media. Substance abuse in television, movies, and even on the news I often glamorized and portrayed in a totally unrealistic way.

Breaking Bad and it’s dangerous appeal is an example of a TV show that shows the main character start producing meth. This once honest high school teacher turns into a cold-blooded killer and drug peddler. While no one would say his actions are good, many people (especially young men) look up to his bold actions and intimidation tactics. While this story is obviously fictional, it is a reflection of the reality of our society that young men face today. It seems they have to decide between being a goodie two shoes “good guy” or the ruthless “bad boy” who does what he wants. This is a dangerous place for young men to be.

pop culture glamorizes drugs

This is why movements like Men Going Their Own Way and various other men’s groups are so popular. Young men are so sick of having to do as they are told and never being asked what they want in their own lives. They are promised a house and a white picket fence, if they just go to school, get good grades, find a good job, and don’t make waves. They follow through on their end of the deal, but the reward is never there. They feel empty and betrayed. Some men just keep on this path forever. Some break free in healthy ways. Many, though, break free with drugs and alcohol. Abusing various types of substances, both legal and illegal is the escape from the tragic results of the lie they bought into when they were too gullible to know any better. This is how you end up in drug rehab.

The point is, drug abuse isn’t about the supply of drugs, it’s about the demand. If there isn’t any meth, people will use alcohol. If there is no cocaine, they will use a relative’s prescription medicine. If they can’t get any of those, they’ll buy super glue at the grocery store and sniff that to get high.

It’s not about controlling the drugs themselves. People use drugs for a reason and that reason needs to be addressed.

Whether it’s dissatisfaction with their life, wanting to escape anxiety, having terrible relationship issues, being abused, those are the real causes of substance abuse. The list can go on and on. And it’s certainly a less comfortable topic to speak about, but it’s the truth.

It’s much easier to tell someone “you need to stop using drugs” than to tell them “you need to develop a healthy sense of purpose in life, learn enough discipline to where you can hold down a steady job, and change your whole paradigm for yourself and your place in this world.”

Substance dependency is not an easy problem that is going away any time soon. It is as complex and diverse as the individuals who deal with them. But, if you start to look in the right place, you at least have a chance of finding the answer.

Note: This post is the author’s own thoughts on the subject and may not reflect that of the Dubois County Substance Abuse Council

John L