Reader beware, there is a graphic image included in this article.
Dear Advocates, Addicts, Ambassadors, Grieving Family Members, and Society,
Please give me a moment of your time. You see, I knew that the war on drugs was at an all time controversial high point but currently I feel like I really want to throw up. I was sitting here like every other time, strolling through my news feed on Facebook, when I saw a rather disturbing ‘like’ for a group. The group is called ‘We are Heroin Hunnies.’ As if the name wasn’t enough, the saddest part is the picture that is going viral for this group. It is one with a woman and a needle stuck in her neck, as if embracing her love for this drug, full of pride.
This group was created 8-hours ago and already is growing beyond control at 1,700 members. These are people who obviously are seeking someone to relate to as we continue to see this type of glorification. We are creatures of habit. So maybe it is a peer pressure issue? I propose that maybe we set an example and get off our asses! Addiction is nothing to be boastful about and it saddens me that so many have stooped to doing this. It is a disease that many share, yes. But glorification of what has nearly destroyed those of us that have survived thus far, not forgetting the many lives it has taken, leaves me at a loss for words.
It seems that endorsing our illness in this way is detrimental. This picture proves it. I do not believe that this should be acceptable, not now or ever. We live in a country that if failing us more everyday in fighting this war. Its failing is nothing new.
The public has been misinformed for decades.
Here is an excerpt from an article in 2008:
TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) — Rap music is glamorizing drug use, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, who found a sixfold increase in drug references in songs over the past two decades.
“Positive portrayals of drug use have increased over time, and drug references increased overall,” study author Denise Herd, associate dean of students at the School of Public Health, said in a prepared statement.
“This is an alarming trend, as rap artists are role models for the nation’s youth, especially in urban areas. Many of these young people are already at risk and need to get positive messages from the media,” Herd said.
She and her colleagues analyzed 341 lyrics from the most popular rap songs between 1979 and 1997. During that time, references to drugs increased sixfold, and there was an increase in songs featuring positive attitudes toward drugs and the consequences of drug use, and an increase in references of drug use to signify glamour, wealth and sociability. In addition, there was a significant change in the types of drugs mentioned in rap songs.
Of the 38 most popular rap songs between 1979 and 1984, only four (11 percent) contained drug references. By the late 1980s, that increased to 19 percent and by 1993, to 69 percent.
These findings indicate “a shift from cautionary songs, such as those that emphasized the dangers of cocaine and crack, to songs that glorify the use of marijuana and other drugs as part of a desirable hip-hop lifestyle,” Herd said. “This is alarming, because young children are exposed to these messages. I don’t think this is a story we as a society want them to absorb.”
For example, she noted that references to cough medicine abuse in lyrics from Southwestern groups performing an underground rap genre called “Screw Music” may be linked to high numbers of Houston teens abusing codeine-laced cough syrup.
“Rap music is like CNN for *omitted* teens. But much of what is discussed in rap is in code. The kids understand, but parents don’t,” said Herd, who recommended parents monitor their children’s music and learn about the terms used in popular songs.
The study was published in the April issue of Addiction Research & Theory.
Earlier research by Herd found that alcohol use is increasingly glorified in rap music.
SOURCE: Addiction Research & Theory, April 2008…
*My own omission was made as this music genre is not racial specific. The point of this article is that the media has utilized its own platform for the glorification of drug use.
It is now 2017 and while this article is obviously outdated, the threat on us has tripled. We are faced with a crisis that is killing in large numbers. We’ve lost thousands of so many innocent people and our country’s answer is to provide a temporary fix for a long-term issue. This is unacceptable.
We need a change.
The other day the news shows a teacher that has been arrested for selling heroin to her students and at the school. This is what we have come to – we are failing our children and we are failing each other.
Yes, small steps must be made that allow for us to allow for big changes – these small steps add up. The dilemma is that we are too busy pointing fingers at each other, sitting back trying to analyze what someone who remains the active addict’s mindset continues to wreck his own opportunities as well as those same opportunities for others.
Maybe I go on whims when I speak online, but I do not plan these moments. I do what my heart tells me to do and my heart is tired! My heart tells me to speak up. My heart tells me those behaving in this way are wrong in spreading these types of messages to others. My heart tells me that those supporting these behaviors need help as well. My heart tells me that people need to be aware of not only the ways addiction grabs a hold of us, but that proceeding with caution is absolutely necessary! We have people in this community that do prey on others. We have people in this community that are being hurt by both the behaviors and actions of others!