Glorification of Alcohol and Drug Use without Addiction Treatment in the Media

In our media-hungry society, Americans encounter alcohol and drug use in the media with more frequency than we likely realize. While difficult to quantify, one can only imagine the effects of this exposure on substance abuse. During the 70’s, drug and alcohol abuse reached a peak. Music and social conditions created a social arena ripe for addiction. This was the beginning of the glorification of drug use and the heyday addiction treatment clinic.

Drug Use in Film

Sadly, for many Americans, the image of the wasted junkie has lost its shock value. The frightening images of junkies of movie fame, including Juice and The Basketball Diaries, have been replaced by other nerve-exposing images. Traffic, a blockbuster in the 90’s, provided new scandal for the jaded. In the film, an underage Caucasian girl from a good home is graphically portrayed as the zombie-like conquest of an African-American drug dealer. Her loving parents guide her to drug detox, and hope appears on the horizon for the defiled damsel. Apparently the notion of “little junkie girl” lost was no longer enough to disturb the average American; racial stereotypes and socio-economic terror must join the amalgam for proper shock value.

Double Take: Models or Heroin Addicts?

The wasted figure of the emaciated supermodel peaked during the 90’s, when major fashion designers featured the thin figures of models with dark eye make-up and strung-out poses. This was the beginning of heroin chic, a trend in the fashion industry supporting the glazed-eye look of a junkie. In part due to the rising availability of the drug, the images of addicts were emblazoned upon billboards and bus sides. The decline of this advertising began only when a well-known photographer died of an overdose.

In The Cross-Hairs: Targeting Minors through Marketing

Alcohol manufacturers employ aggressive ad campaigns to target youth under the drinking age. With imagery and music borrowed from Rave culture, several companies offer enticing visuals of fun and popularity among attractive young people. Youth exposure to alcohol advertising occurs because ads are placed around programming that has minors among its largest viewership. Over 40% of minors viewed these ads while watching TV, while most never see the inside of an alcohol rehab center.

Another study shows that up to 20% of teens own clothing advertising alcohol. Disturbingly, the children who participated in the study, which followed the habits and behaviors of minors owning clothing bearing these advertisements, were under the age of 15.

Celebrities and Substance Abuse

Celebrity status and alcohol and drug use is depicted as going hand-in-hand. While some celebs attempt discretion while entering a drug or alcohol rehab center, as often as not, the information is used as a tactic to acquire media attention. In the predatory world of Hollywood glamour, the desperate media strategies employed by managers and celebrities are frequently exquisitely timed. An actor’s public entrance into an alcohol rehabilitation program, for instance, often somehow coincides with a movie premiere. Likewise, this formula can be applied to the music industry, which pairs album release dates with the shocking news of an artist entering a rehab center for assistance with his problem.

Impact of Vitamin and Herbs on Depression

While modern medicine has an idea of how depression “works,” a definitive cure for depression still eludes doctors and scientists. A variety of factors seem to indicate how likely a person is to develop depression. Environment, genetics, exposure to a traumatic event, increased stress level, hormonal balance, and poor nutrition all influence one’s probability to become depressed. One theory even posits that it is caused by inefficiency in the body’s ability to store vitamin. While these causes are acknowledged, the larger question of how to treat depression for the long-term remains unanswered.

Traditional treatment for depression has evolved somewhat over the years. In the past, extreme measures such as electro-shock and lobotomy were considered acceptable options. Today, although the horror of electro-shock therapy still exists, the majority of people undergo treatment via counseling and sometimes the use of anti-depressants. Interestingly, an infinitely gentler method of using electricity on the brain is being studied with a group of people who are utterly incapacitated by depression and do not respond to drug therapy.

About 50 patients suffering from a depression so severe that they were unable to function in daily life volunteered for an experiment in which the brain was stimulated by a very mild electric current. The procedure, called “deep stimulation,” targets a certain area of the brain with a low level of electricity. Results from the trials conducted in America and Canada have shown positive results for participants. Several patients who were so non-functioning that they could not even work have returned to employment and are leading normal lives.

For those who wish to avoid surgical insertion of electrical stimuli into the brain, there remain other options. Approaching depression as a type of malnourishment created other possible treatments, such as the including supplements, like B vitamins and cheap vitamin C, to the diet. Shifting meal plans away from junk food, eating more fruits and vegetables, and reducing intake of fatty foods and carbohydrates are strategies used. Additionally, Omega-3 fatty acids, attainable through consumption of foods like fish and flax seed, may improve mood. These amino acids are also available in supplement form. Other trials have shown that taking calcium supplements alleviates the symptoms of depression in 30% of subjects, who felt relief when calcium was added to their diet via supplement. Vitamin D has recently been added to the list of vitamin and herbs that impact mood, especially for those suffering from seasonal depression.

Because conventional drug treatments can have dangerous side effects and cause increased health risks with long-term use, some people are considering other avenues. Options such as behavioral modification, dietary adjustment, light therapy, and meditation have been presented in a certain groundbreaking new book by a doctor seeking other ways to help sufferers of this illness. For those sensitive to medication or experiencing mild depression, the use of discount herbal supplements might be used to treat symptoms economically. In Germany, doctors actually prescribe St. John’s Wort for the illness.

One of the most radical treatments being explored for depression is perhaps the most simple: exercise. Adding a regular fitness regimen to their daily routine improved the moods of 30% of patients in a study about the impact of exercise on mood.