Drug use in the entertainment industry has become a norm and addiction is not only displayed but all too often glamorized. American Addiction Centers highlights several concerning findings regarding the barrage of substance use throughout the entertainment, some of which include:
- Drugs are present in nearly half of all music videos, including alcohol (35%), tobacco (10%), and illicit drugs (13%).
- 1 drinking scene is shown on television every 22 minutes, 1 smoking scene every 57 minutes, and 1 illicit drug use scene every 112 minutes.
- 71% of prime-time television programs depict alcohol use, 19% depict tobacco use, 20% mention illicit drug use, and 3% depict illicit drug use.
- More than 1/3 of all drinking scenes on television shows are humorous, while less than 1/4 of drinking scenes show any negative consequences.
Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates that in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry, 13.7% of people used an illicit drug in the past month and 12.9% met the clinical diagnostic criteria for substance use disorder in the past year. Substance use disorder (SUD), colloquially referred to as addiction, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), as a chronic, relapsing brain disorder. It is characterized by “clinically significant impairments in health, social function, and voluntary control over substance use.” Addiction does not develop overnight, nor should an individual expect his or her recovery from substance use disorder to occur instantaneously. Overcoming addiction in the entertainment industry can present unique challenges due to the high-pressure, demanding, and often unpredictable nature of the industry. Examples of challenges commonly faced by individuals in the entertainment industry and strategies for overcoming addiction include:
- Fragile and highly impressionable self-concept: The entertainment industry places a strong emphasis on physical appearance, image, and public perception. These pressures can lead to body image struggles, diminished self-esteem, and a desire to escape or enhance performance through substance use. Cultivating a positive self-concept, prioritizing self-care, and practicing healthy daily habits can support recovery and promote well-being.
- High-pressure environment: The entertainment industry is known for its high-stress environment, with demanding schedules, performance expectations, and constant scrutiny. This pressure can contribute to stress, anxiety, and the temptation to turn to substances to cope. Learning healthy coping mechanisms (e.g., mindfulness, meditation, exercise, and relaxation) can help individuals manage stress, anxiety, and other challenging emotions without resorting to addictive behaviors.
- Normalization of substance use: As indicated above, substance use is highly prevalent within the entertainment industry. The industry culture perpetuates the idea that substance use is simply a part of the lifestyle, particularly because the industry thrives on creating an environment that rationalizes substance abuse and where drugs are effortlessly accessible. Challenging the industry norms around substance use and educating people on the harmful effects of substances can promote a supportive culture that helps individuals overcome addiction.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.