Through media and ingrained misconceptions, society has encouraged the acceptance of drug use.
A comedian once stated, “Alcohol is one of the few drugs that people encourage you to die from…you never hear people chanting shoot the needle, shoot the needle, shoot the needle, but you do hear people chanting chug, chug, chug!!” Media, film, and television have also glamorized drug addiction and alcohol use even as they show how devastating it can be. While some documentaries and reality shows accurately portray the effects of untreated addiction on the addicted person and their loved ones, many movies or shows make addiction cute or dress it up to make it something that it is not. Social acceptance of drug use can lead people to believe that their usage really isn’t that bad, and can lead them further down the dark path of drug addiction.
Many occupations also promote drug use.
The restaurant industry contains a large percentage of employees suffering from addiction, and substance use is often encouraged as a way to cope with the high-stress environment. Co-workers make traditions of going to a bar after work to spend the day’s earnings. First responders, doctors, and nurses also face high-stress situations every day that, along with easy access to medications, can lead to drug use and addiction.
In addition, underage drinking and drug use is treated as a norm.
Sometimes parents tell themselves that their child’s substance use is just a phase or just experimentation. In the recovery community, this attitude is called denial. Especially in young brains, substance use can lead to addiction that grows much, much worse if left untreated. Don’t let media or high-stress jobs lead you into thinking that substance use is okay. Help is available.