Media Influence On Substance Use

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Chapter One: Introduction Background of the Study The effect of mainstream media and the influence it has on substance usage among students. Currently in society, the media particularly the music and videos that accompany it usually glorify the usage of either illicit or illegal substances. These include Alcohol, Marijuana or weed, tobacco cigarettes, cocaine, molly, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and ecstasy. There existed a time when such words were taboo, when the knowledge of them came from a personal experience of some sort; that is, either an individual or relative who became mired in substance abuse and the resulting addiction to which it gave way. What was once a private battle has recently become a trending theme in mainstream…show more content…
According to Victor Strasburger the causes of adolescent substance use are multifactorial, but the media can play a key role (2010). Television programs and movies contain appreciable amounts of substance use. Unlike traditional advertising, media depictions of legal drugs are generally positive and invite no criticism, because they are not viewed as advertising by those who watch them. Advertising has a strong influence on children and adolescents, as well as adults and its pull is incontrovertible. Research has revealed that advertising may be responsible for up to 30% of adolescent tobacco and alcohol use (Atkin, 1995, p. 38-68). The literature provided what is needed to understand the mass media system. Drug use is a common problem we face in schools. Many studies have been done with different variations as to which drugs in particular were being affected by the popularity and portrayal in mass media. What is missing is research articles focused more to mass media as a whole and a copulation of recreational drugs both legal and illegal. Cannabis is one of the most common illegal drugs used my children and adolescents in the United States as well as in the…show more content…
Drug and alcohol abuse is everywhere. It is a permanent fixture polluting the societal landscape. We constantly see substance abuse in the media: on television, in movies, listen to it in music and read about it in books. The disease of addiction is now a solid component of our culture – in everyday life on screen and in the air waves. It is impossible to surmise whether or not there’s a definite causal relationship between drug and alcohol addiction and the substance abuse trends depicted by the media. There is somewhat of a ‘chicken or the egg’ paradox in this situation. There is a fascination with drug and alcohol addiction that is being portrayed by media outlets the potential for mainstream media to glamorize drug use is frightening and, the reporting of celebrity drug addiction as entertainment is saddening. Mass Media. The nature and extent of media influence has fascinated researchers, political operatives, policy makers and media professionals for decades. McQuail (2005) describes media effects theory as a ‘paradox’—it has been plagued by the assumption that the media have significant influence over our thoughts and behaviour and yet there is little agreement about the nature or extent of these effects (Scheufele, 1999, P.

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