My mother knew sports were the most important thing in my life. She tried to use my love of sports to keep me away from drugs. She told me drugs would keep me from performing at my best when I played football.
But I had been reading the sports page since I was a little kid. I knew some of the best athletes in America were using drugs. Guys who could run a hundred yards in less than ten seconds were using drugs. They were doing great. Drugs weren?t hurting their performance. So I didn?t pay any attention to my mother?s warnings, and I started using drugs when I was fifteen (qtd. in Perkins and McMurtrie-Perkins 25-26).
On the weekends, there is at least one party planned. Teens will find someway, no matter what to get either drunk or high. Many will lie, steal, or cheat so they can use. Some teens even spend an entire day trying to obtain their drugs of choice. Although many teens don?t use drugs because it is unacceptable, there is an increase in drug use among teens today, because sports athletes, movies, and music make it appear acceptable.
It is true, of course, that athletes will and do get reprimanded for the use of drugs, but many still run the risk, and don?t get caught. They either use substances that are illegal in the sport or on the street. Steroids were first used by the Germans in World War II, then the Soviets started using them in sports in the late 1940?s(Cox). It seems that if an athlete gets caught with drugs they receive more publicity, young people see this and think that if they do drugs too then they will get more attention.
Furthermore, Many young people consider athletes, actors, actresses, and musicians as role models. They try to model their lives after them, this, many times includes the celebrity?s drug use if they have used before. There are many biographies on television that deal with a celebrity and their drug use. Young people see these bios and think that drug use is just a part of growing up and that they will have to do it sometime so why not get it out of the way (Duncan).
Undoubtedly, many actors and actresses have been involved in anti-drug campaigns; still many have been caught or confessed using drugs. They also play many roles in movies and shows in which they use drugs, granted older people know that they are only playing a role, but many younger viewers don?t. When asked if they knew whom Cheech and Chong were a member of the audience responded by saying that they were funny people that made funny movies. The problem with their movies is that they make smoking marijuana look funny, too (Perkins and McMurtrie-Perkins 27).
Most important of all, many musicians have written or performed songs that have encouraged drug use. Some musicians even encourage drug use through their actions. If you watched the MTV Video Music Awards this year, you would have witnessed one of the many things that musicians do to promote drug use. Eminem was on stage, as he ?searched? for his acceptance speech; little white pills fell out of his pants. Many officials reported that the pills might have been his favorite drug, ecstasy. Eminem also has a track on his recent album that talks solely about drug use.
To help curb the increase in drug use the government needs to have broader censorship of songs and movies. Have more celebrities involved in anti-drug campaigns, closer screening and harsher penalties for those athletes, actors, actresses, and musicians caught with drugs. But most importantly, better education on the effects of illegal substances on the body.
Because of the roles that sports, movies, and music play in young people?s lives today, the drug use in this country has increased in the past few years. If something isn?t done, then the increase will continue. The government will have to devote more time, effort, and money to control the drugs. If the government does something while the majority doesn?t use drugs, then they will be a lot more successful then if they wait for the drug problem to get out of control.
McCormick, Michelle. Designer-Drug Abuse. New York: Franklin Watts, 1989.
?Selling Drugs Through the Media.? Online. http://www.v-a.com/communication/addict.html. Accessed 23 Oct. 2000.