Alyssa Miller is a third year journalism student and the features editor for Lancer Link. She enjoys writing and learning information about the school...
The relationship between drugs and the entertainment industry
November 9, 2018
The relationship between drugs and the entertainment industry is no foreign matter. For decades, celebrity drug addictions and controversial scenes in TV and movies have been hitting the tabloids. Some scenes highlight the dangers of drugs, while many almost seem to encourage it. Today, young kids and teens are highly influenced by what is around them. They always are seeing new headlines about the latest celebrity going to rehab or their favorite TV show doing an episode centered around drugs. Drugs and their abuse is constantly a topic of concern, especially when it is so prevalent in the entertainment industry.
As soon as word hits social media that a celebrity has gone to rehab, fans are filled with several emotions; confusion, disbelief, sadness, or even disappointment that the person they listened to on the radio growing up had taken such a bad turn. However, what is sometimes forgotten is that celebrities are people too. They have their own personal issues that they deal with; add being in the spotlight all the time to this and going down the wrong path becomes more common than once thought. Junior Reagan Phillips has seen this happen with one star in particular, Demi Lovato, who she has watched on TV ever since she was a kid.
“It is definitely weird to see her go to rehab again,” Phillips said. “She was someone I always watched and listened to as a kid so to see her going through something like this is really sad. She has been an advocate for sobriety for so long that you sometimes forget a relapse is even possible.”
It is also common to forget that even if celebrities make wrong decisions, it does not necessarily make them bad people. They can still inspire people, but maybe in a different way. Watching stars go through rough patches with drugs can make them be seen as more relatable. They are now more humanized, rather than a perfect person with thousands of likes on all of their Instagram pictures.
“It makes you realize that celebrities are normal people too,” Phillips said. “I still consider her someone to look up to since she is so open about her journey. It takes a lot to be as open as she is about what she has gone through, but I bet she is helping so many people because of it.”
Not only do stars have their fair share of drug related problems, but the characters they play can be involved in the issue as well. For example, the show “Gossip Girl” is about a group of teens who live a champagne lifestyle in the Upper East Side. Although the show is not centered around drugs, it is a casual topic that is brought up throughout all the seasons of this very popular and well known show. The show paints drugs as something “typical” for teens to do instead of a very dangerous subject that should be taken seriously. Junior Hailee Harway has seen all the episodes of the show, and never really took a second glance at the use of drugs in the show.
“I never really noticed how casually they used drugs and brought it up,” Harway said. “I just thought it was something normal, not really thinking much of it. I don’t think it influences me negatively, but I can definitely see how some people can see it as something normal to do because of the show.”
Drugs are extremely prevalent in the entertainment industry. Sometimes shows use it to express the dangers and others normalize the topic to make it a casual thing to be involved in. Adolescents being exposed to drugs can be widely related to the TV or music they listen to, or even the stars they choose to follow on social media. It is a topic that is nowhere near being done talked about; using social media and other entertainment outlets to show the dangers can turn the negative situation into something more positive.