Why Are Drugs And Alcohol Synonymous With Cool?

Why does our current society think that getting drunk and high makes you stylish or dope?

Recreational Partying In Pop-Culture

“Sippin’ on some sizzurp” and “I take a couple uppers, I down a couple downers, but nothing compares to these blue and yellow purple pills,” are just two examples of the glamorization of drugs in pop culture, in this case via rap music.

Lil’ Wayne makes drinking “Sizzurp”, which is codeine mixed with who knows what, sound like you’re just casually drinking Kool-Aid, but codeine is a seriously dangerous drug.

Eminem and his crew, D12, made a whole song about these “purple pills.” Valium is one that’s referenced, but the idea of the song is to pop pills without knowing or caring what you’re putting into your body.

photo credit: Steve Taylor (Photography) (http://www NULL.flickr NULL.com/photos/stevetaylors/5976152121/) via photopin (http://photopin NULL.com) cc (http://creativecommons NULL.org/licenses/by/2 NULL.0/)

Media Bombardment

In almost every type of media, the glamorization of drugs has gotten worse. The TV show, House is about a drug-addicted doctor. The TV show, Nurse Jackie is about a drug-addicted nurse. Breaking Bad is about a guy who makes and sells crystal meth to support his family when he is diagnosed with cancer. Weeds is about a suburban widow and mother who sells pot to support her family.

The movies Requiem for a Dream, Traffic, Trainspotting, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Thirteen, Boogie Nights, and many more, highlight drug use, and many are glamorizing the drug-addicted lifestyle.

Social media plays a large role in all this too, arguably more than fictitious portrayals of drug use. Real people, who we pay attention to, and who we pay to entertain us, are shown all over our outlets for mass communication.

Celebrities Weigh In

Either celebrities are getting arrested for being drunk in public, for driving under the influence, or for drug possession charges, and we put them at the top of our news feeds.  Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, Britney Spears, Robert Downey, Jr., Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brooke Mueller, Eminem, Lil Wayne, etc. The list goes on, and all you have to do is turn on the TV or open your web browser to find out who is on what.

Guys like Russell Brand have been celebrated for his partying ways. Men want to be him, and women want to be with him. Even Charlie Sheen has received positive attention for being such a mess.

When Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus, or even Michael Phelps, are caught smoking weed, or doing anything that compromises a projected image we want them to have, it is still all related to the glamorization of drugs in our current culture.

Athletes are also notorious for drug use, and of course the people who perform on the court or field are glamorized because sports are cool already. If we found out that Lebron James was smoking weed or drinking the “Sizzurp” after winning a national championship, would we care? We would think any less of him, or are we just thrilled to be watching a stellar athlete do his thing?

What It Means

The problem is that the glamorization of drugs and alcohol is trickling down to our next generation. Kids, teens, and young adults look up to these people who play basketball or another sport, who bring a certain character to life, or who entertain us with music.

When we give the green light on substance use, and we get to the point of making it cool, we are doing a major disservice to the youngest members of our society.


About The Author

Kate Green is an authority on substance abuse and alcohol abuse from her time working at Balboa Horizons Treatment Services (http://www NULL.balboahorizons NULL.com/vacation-package-alcohol-rehab-in-orange-county/) an alcohol and drug rehab in Newport, CA.

Leave Your Comment / Helpful Tip