Friday, February 17, 2012

Why Do We Have A Drug Culture In America?
Willie Nelsen?

By Josh Sternberg

      As most of you have probably heard on the news lately, both Willie Nelson and Snoop Dog were caught at the Texan-Mexican border with possession of marjauna.  While this is nothing new for the both of them, especially Willie Nelson, where should the blame go for the War on Drugs?  You might be surprised where some people are putting the blame at.  Everyday across America, doctors, parents, and teachers are putting children on amphetamines.  These drugs are called Ritalin and Risperdal; they’re prescribed for a medical condition called ADHD.  Depending on who you talk to you or what you read on the internet some believe ADHD is fabricated by the psychiatrists at the time of diagnosis who cities behavioral patterns such as easily distracted or likes to play outside a lot.  Today there is a huge underground market for Ritalin, especially on college campuses.  Are doctors, parents, and teachers really to blame for getting children hooked on these drugs?  Another issue monkey see monkey do.  Children love to imitate their parents.  Children grow up seeing their parents popping pills, smoking crack, shooting heroine into their arms or feet, etc.  This can have an impact on whether or not children will end up using drugs when they grow up.  It may seem that I’m putting the blame on the parents, but I’m just asking a question on the issue.  Others may site the Media for helping to promote the drug culture in America.  In 1997, the FDA legalized the advertising of drugs on television.  Since then there has been an explosion of all sorts of drug advertisements on television to many to name.  In retrospect society has a whole can be blamed for the drug culture in America.  If society doesn’t want kids to use drugs then it shouldn’t openly promote through television, magazines, schools, etc.  Society in general is responable for the actions of all.  Only by coming together as a society and coming up with a solution that benefits all of society.  Then we will be able to make a dent in the drug culture but more importantly the War on Drugs.  Until then, celebrities like Willie Nelson and Snoop Dog will continue to make the news.


  1. First of all, I love seeing a Willie Nelson reference wherever I can find one. In class, we heard a story about a man who received over 20 years in prison for just over 1 gram of meth. How many times can Willie Nelson and Snoop Dog (or any celebrity for that matter) be caught with illegal drugs before they are put in prison for decades? Why the disperity between regular citizens and celebrities? I agree that our media puts too much emphasis on celebrities and that may adversly affect adolescents. I place most of the blame for youth drug use on parents to a certain extent. Children reach a point both legally and mentally when they are responsible for their own actions. If a 10 year old is addicted to Ritalin I would point to the parents and doctors for blame. However, the same situation with a 16 year old is a different story. We are all to be held responsible for our actions. Consequences are a part of life. Society is not to blame here, we all make our own way.

  2. As for who is to blame for the drug problem I think the answer is obvious, everyone. The media is always showing so many drug commercials, even stuff like ambien, which is very much abused. I think its pathetic how easily doctors give drugs to patients, and they get paid for it as well. They hand out these drugs like they are candy. But I think the biggest group to blame is the parents. Parents are in charge of their children and if their children see them doing drugs then they have a much greater chance to use drugs themselves. It is on parents to make sure that their children stay away from drugs and explain the harsh realities of what can happen from drug use.

  3. It is pretty crazy that you rarely see any celebrity going to prison like the rest of society who gets caught for the same charge. Doctors these days are pretty much handing out ADD medicine like vyvanse or ritalin. A bunch of my friends get these medicines by going to their doctors and lying about how they can't stay alert or focused. They obviously don't need it but they get the prescription with ease. They tend to make a good amount of money during finals week. So, doctors can be blamed, but parents play a huge role in what decisions their kids make. Parents need to step up and tell their children that their actions always come with consequences. They need to warn them of the effects and that the things that they see on Tv and in society isn't always the smartest choice for them.

  4. You brought up many good points, by talking about how celebrities usually get away with drug charges and talking about parents and psychiatrists. I think everything starts in the home. Whether that is morals, manners, treating others how you want to be treated, ability to say no and mean it along with many others including drugs. If kids don’t learn these important life lessons, they will not have similar direction compared to one who has had these lessons. Kids have idols; mine were Britney Spears and Mia Hamm, both for different reasons. Looking at celebrities today, I can think of more negative people than positive.

    And today, I feel that prescription drugs are having more negative effects then the good they are supposed to do. Prescription drug commercials say their pill will help with depression. However, there is a long list of possible side effects such as heart attack, stroke, suicide ideation or suicide. By weighing the odds, this medicine is SUPPOSED to help with depression, but a side effect could also lead to death. Prescription drugs are all too easy to get either from a friend or a doctor and there have been many overdoses. Something has got to change, possibly by teaching kids about the harmful side effects, addiction and withdrawl of taking drugs such as Vicodin, Valium, Xanax, Ambien and that is just to name a few.