With reality shows, movies, and television shows that show teens using drugs or alcohol having the time of their lives, producers do not think of the audience watching it. When teens see a celebrity advocating a product, they will want to try it themselves because their “role model” told them to. It is important that parents tell their children the true horrors of drug addiction and that celebrities who get away with their crimes are not true role models.

Entertainment and media plays a big part in a teenager’s life. According to Addiction.com, teens spend twenty to forty hours a week watching television or going on the internet. They see celebrities living the high life going to nonstop parties and in and out of rehab. Teens can learn from these behaviors and abuse substances they did not know was possible like when Lil Wayne went to the hospital for his prescription-strength cough syrup addiction. If a bunch of celebrities who are on these teen shows and movies treat drug use like it is normal and that it is cool, teens will want to mimic that behavior and be just like them.

It does not help when teens hear on the news when celebrities do not get punished for their wrongdoing when arrested on drugs. For example, Robert Downey Jr. was once arrested for passing out at a neighbor’s house as a result of his drug use and was only sentenced to probation and mandatory drug testing. Paris Hilton was charged of DUI, cocaine possession twice, and leaving the scene of the accident but got no punishment for it because of her high-profile celebrity status at the time. Celebrity overdoses will have little impact on teenagers as they will just think those celebrities were not careful or that same result will not happen to them. All teens want is the fun and excitement instead of thinking of the serious consequences.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine says teens listening to marijuana references in song lyrics will make them likely to abuse drugs. Let your children know that these celebrities are not true role models to look up to. Talk to them about the shows and movies they are watching and the true horrors of what having an addiction is like such as statistics, side effects, withdrawal symptoms, etc. Let your children distinguish what is real from what is fake.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.