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Drugs in Pop Culture - What your child knows about drug abuse

It’s no secret that drugs in pop culture has a heavy influence in our society.

Watch a movie or turn on the radio and you will probably see or hear something about drug abuse.

Unfortunately, the consequences of drug abuse aren’t always portrayed accurately in pop culture.

Scarface - Drugs trivialised by Pop Culture

Consequently, many movies end up glamorising the use of Cocaine, MDMA, Marijuana, Meth and even Heroin - making them seem romantically rebellious, fun, interesting and somewhat harmless.

The problem with this is younger generations are the ones most vulnerable to pop culture influence.

Drugs in Pop Culture

Teenagers and Drug Abuse


Becoming a teenager is hard as it is, dealing with puberty, a wave of new emotions, school stresses and peer pressures – things can get a little overwhelming sometimes.


Peer pressure and drug experimentation play big roles in teenage substance abuse, with many teenagers experimenting with drugs simply to fit in.

Additionally, both experimentation and peer pressure are constantly being reinforced by the recurrences of alcohol and drug abuse in movies, television and music.

As a result, pop culture has trivialised drugs, giving kids a false ‘image’ that using them is cool or ‘the perfect way to fit in’.

Pop Culture’s influence on Society


Society’s standards of ‘acceptance’ revolve around our cultural influences, and with popular artists and actors referencing or taking part in drug use, it has become somewhat normal for people to try them out.


Artists reference drug street names like Molly, Ice, or Mary Jane in their music, inadvertently teaching their listeners about these drugs.

Many people (old and young) complain that they feel the need to drink so that they can have a good time or to “fit in”, but with popular ‘teen’ shows such as Gossip Girl or Jersey Shore showing adults having fun while drinking excessively – we’re not teaching our younger generations any better.

Furthermore, the trivialisation of drug and alcohol abuse due to pop culture can also be seen in TV shows like “Weeds” or “Breaking Bad”, where characters are seen successfully dodging the consequences of drug possession and use.

Although these shows are fictional, it leads us to question the message they sending out to society and the younger generations.

Step Away Drug Rehabilitation Centre South Africa

With popular music artists singing about drugs and alcohol, and movies and television programmes rarely exposing the negative repercussions and accidents that can occur because of usage, it’s unsurprising that we are struggling to convince society that drugs are bad.

It’s important that we start addressing this issue by openly talking to our children about drugs.

Though we might not be able to prevent our children from coming into contact with drugs, our influence can mean they make the right choice if they do.

You can stay informed by signing up for our monthly news articles or by visiting our addiction treatment pages, where you will find factual information about different drugs.

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