Although it’s nothing new, drug addiction chic is reaching new and disturbing heights in the media.
But is it drug addiction chic after all? As those in addiction recovery know, there’s a world of difference between someone suffering from drug addiction and a heavy drug abuse problem. In a court of law, advocates of the trend would say that it isn’t a celebration of the disease, but rather the freedom to experiment (which, incidentally, quite often leads to the disease).
Therein lies the problem. Sure, not everyone who uses drugs is an addict, just like all those who drink are not alcoholics. However, these drugs serve a specific function, which is the sole reason they are legal. Outside of performing that function, they are irrelevant.
So, when jerseys sporting brand-name products like Vicodin, Adderall, and Xanax are being worn by A-list celebrities, chances are they aren’t referring to the superior pain management capabilities of Vicodin, the anxiety suppression of Xanax, or Adderall’s ability to help those who cannot focus to pay attention. Otherwise, they would be sporting brands like Tylenol/Advil, or Folgers.
That’s part of why many are angry, including the drug companies themselves.
No, it’s the susceptibility to abuse getting these drugs their attention, and that’s where the concern lies. The word “celebrity” originates in the word “celebrate,” and if celebrities are celebrating products are extremely dangerous when used in the manner they are implying and supporting, that should bring up some serious alarm. Fortunately, more and more people are becoming vocal in their mutual dislike of these products.
If razorblades were handed out at a concert with a band’s logo and the phrase “Have Fun” engraved on them, the band would certainly face lawsuits, bad press, and possibly time in jail when violence inevitably errupts. Yes, the band could always deny intent to harm, and that the items were to be used responsibly and as intended, but they still would not be free from the backlash and legal consequences.
For some reason, youth culture sees a shorter life full of “excitement” and “good times” as preferable to a longer life that does not consist of pure hedonistic pleasure. For those of us who have lived that life, however, there is no regret giving up the madness and chaos we mistook for fun for the life of what, we were told, was boredom.
On a similar note, why is something automatically designated as boredom if it does not fall into the category of constantly feeling good, having fun, or excitement? The opposite of those things is not boredom; it is an absence. The opposite of white isn’t black—it’s not white. The opposite of short isn’t tall—it’s not short.
That doesn’t translate to sales, though. How many times have we seen commercials advocating the strengthening of relationships, inner calm, and a fulfilling sense of self and comfort? Never—because those traits originate within us, and not with some outside tangible object or experience.
While the companies promoting products such as these are giving responses that are little more than “you’re not cool enough to get it,” more and more people are also realizing it could be a good thing.