Drug Use

Sam McMullin, Staff Writer

We can’t deny that we live in a world where drugs are glorified. It may be indirect, but you have most likely been involved with the ever-growing drug culture. Drugs have been used for as long as humans have been curious and that will never stop. It’s not that we are discovering these mind altering substances for the first time, but with social media and other outlets, we get an up-close-and-personal view. We see drug use, and attach the glamour of hollywood to it. Teens see this, and often they try to emulate it. This especially prevalent in the newest form of popular music, internet based rap.

“Soundcloud rappers” emphasize drug use and integrating it into popular culture. Artists such as Lil’ Xan, short for Xanax, or Lil’ Pump write music about drug use, most of which is listened to by teens. Through the popularization of this culture, there have been multiple overdoses and losses in the community like Lil’ Peep. This affects children’s psyche more than you’d think. These people are looked up to, and children are having to mourn losses more often than they should.

Can we blame our world’s drug problems on these celebrities? This is a symbiotic relationship, both groups fueling and feeding off the other. Teens emulate the popular culture, and that culture grows in strength in return. “Drug Merch” is sold by popular teen brands spouting phrases like “Xanax: Because Sometimes Whiskey Isn’t Enough.” It seems to trivialize the whole issue of drugs, making overdose and addiction seem like a far away, unreal fantasy.

With the sad case of Demi Lovato having her drug overdose and the death of Mac Miller, the issue seems more real than ever. We are in no way hidden from the negatives. We live in a time where opioid addiction is one of the lead killers. Drugs, such as Fentanyl, are being used as painkillers for those who have gone through surgery. Fentanyl can be lethal in a dose as little as 0.25 milligrams, making it more potent than Heroin. These morphine derivatives are killing thousands of people each year. In 2017 alone, nearly 60,000 Americans died of drug overdoses. Something needs to be done.

Our society’s viewpoints on drugs has had a major shift in the last decade, such as the legalization of marijuana being heavily looked at and even passed in some states along with other drugs, such as MDMA and Psilocybin Mushrooms, being tested for therapeutic use. These are all examples of drugs that have been typically viewed as “party drugs” or ‘hippy drugs.” Drugs that have had a negative stigma associated with them are now being re-looked at for medicinal use. In the 60s and 70s, a lot of substances were deemed illegal and practically no research was conducted, which means we have over 40 years where very little new information was obtained. We are revisiting and seeing the potential benefits that these compounds have.

The topic of drug use is very controversial-and rightfully so. We need to be educated on something that is so prevalent. What is necessary and what is dangerous. We are going through a huge change, drug culture developing into teen culture, and a stand needs to be made.