“For anybody who thinks that they want to try heroine, this is how they’re going to end up.”
The shocking video reveals a young girl lying on a hospital bed beside her weeping mother. According to the account she gives in the video, she had developed an addiction to heroine leading up to this ensuing overdose. Throughout the video, you can see her mother weep as she films what will probably be her daughter’s last moments. She references a document her mother must sign, which based on the context of the video can be nothing else but a ‘do not resuscitate order’, effectively giving medical staff permission to let her die in peace in the event of a cardiac arrest.
According to reports, the mother decided to record her daughter’s last moments to discourage other adolescent youth from experimenting with illegal drugs. Her daughter, despite clearly being in tremendous physical pain, finds the strength to deliver this message to any current or prospective drug users. Many viewers have been very critical of the mother for choosing to share this video online but it does reflect an important societal message that needs to be heard.
Celebrity drug use often celebrated in pop culture
On the one hand, one might say that drug use is unaccepted in Western society due to the strict laws on the possession of illegal narcotics. Yet this does not help stunt the way our society to an extent celebrates illegal drug use in the media and popular culture.
While the occasional speaker at a high school may repeat the “say no to drugs’” mantra, it often has no bearing on the actions of young teens. For the most part, young people admire and look up to celebrities, rappers, and athletes as the role models they wish to aspire to. Many celebrities who overdose on drugs are celebrated in the media and their drug-enhanced lifestyle is constantly sung, rapped, and written about.
Obviously, this can have an alarming effect on young impressionable teens who may see celebrity addicts as people to emulate and look up to. Kurt Cobain, former lead singer of Nirvana who committed suicide following a drug overdose, is often romanticized in popular culture. However, recent events will hopefully alter such problematic attitudes.
Two high-case drug overdoses re-open national discourse on addiction
In recent months, drug-use has been a heavy topic of discussion in the media coinciding with a much-needed national discussion on mental health. Two A-list celebrities, Mac Miller and Demi Lovato, have had severe problems in drugs resulting in two overdoses and Mac Miller’s unfortunate and premature passing.
Demi Lovato, a long-time abuser of cocaine, had overdosed in late July following a wild night of partying at her Hollywood Hills Mansion. Following her near-death experience, she has begun a long and public effort to get rid of her cocaine-dependence which she has expressed in numerous interviews and her recent single ‘Sober’.
Drug use can be understood, but cannot be celebrated
Similarly, Mac Miller overdosed in August following a long battle with sobriety which he eventually lost one fateful night in August. Both of these deaths are a sad look into the drug use that occurs in the entertainment industry. Mac Miller himself said that fame and a sudden supply of seemingly endless funds can force a person to do certain things they wouldn’t do under other circumstances.
However, Mac Miller never made excuses for his actions and always claimed there was no positive side to it. Throughout his life he would talk about his addiction and once said “there’s no legendary romance, you don’t go down in history because you overdosed, you just die”.
Mac Miller’s lifelong condemnation of his own actions provides hope that impressionable youth will listen to his message and stay away from such lifestyles before it’s too late.
Whether it be from this poor young girl, or from A-list celebrities, one can only hope today’s youth will be persuaded to stay clear from drug-induced lifestyles.