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Drugs in the Media

By Aleah Matthews-Runner in Opinion & Politics

Despite the work of school districts and anti-drug organizations, drugs are still appealing to high schoolers and college students. But why? Nothing about drugs is appealing. Drugs affect your brain; they make you do things you wouldn’t normally do, and, worst of all, they hook you. Students learn this in health class, which unfortunately is made into a joke. Everyone I know, myself included, complains about the course. ‘It’s so boring’ we say, ‘we never learn anything’. But health class is necessary to fight drug use. Because of Health, I learned the harm of drugs before I ever learned about why people use them in the first place. By the time I learned about the ‘benefits’ of drugs, I was already so turned against them, I questioned why, even with the ‘benefits’, anybody would be attracted to them. I found my answer while look through a magazine; drugs and drug use is glamorized. Companies will often utilise drug culture to advertise their product. These advertisements show beautiful, dazed looking people in extravagant surroundings. The ads scream ‘I know you want to be like her, buy our products’, but subliminal messages say, ‘you want to be like her… she’s drugged… you can do the math’. Obscenity is so common in the media that it has become a game of who can out do everyone else. We have become desensitized to violence, sexualization, and drugs that each ad is becoming more explicit than the one before. The same trend occurs in products from shops and companies. Last year, Urban Outfitters put out a perscription shot glass and flask. Drug-free organizations demanded that they take it off their shelves, and it was discontinued. However, this is a perfect example of how drugs are romanticized in the media. They are accepted as, and even encouraged to be, a part of a young adult’s life. Advertisements shouldn’t use drugs to advertise their product. Drugs ruin lives. There is nothing fun or ‘beneficial’ about that, and companies shouldn’t pretend that there is. I understand that companies are trying to appeal to the consumer, but, in truth, there is nothing appealing about drugs. If the only type of advertisement depicting drugs were anti-drug ads, imagine the difference it could make. There would no longer be any good connotations associated with drug use in commercial media. Instead teenagers and young adults would learn and understand how drastically drugs could ruin their lives.

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