Pop Culture’s Responsibility for Displaying Addiction and Substance Abuse

From music to fashion modeling trends, much of pop culture glamorizes substance abuse and addiction, often by drawing a seemingly necessary correlation between substance abuse and fame and success.

This kind of portrayal not only leaves a misguided impression on people who might enter an addiction, but it’s also harmful to the addicts and loved ones of addicts who are navigating the very real and long-term horror of addiction.

Thankfully, some films are taking steps toward a more enlightened view. While A Star is Born might still be glamorizing addiction and substance abuse to some extent, but at least it’s showing some of the nuances of being in a relationship where addiction is involved.

One of the most important things to remember is the harmful effects that substance abuse and addiction have on relationships. At the same time, relationships are often some of the best healing paths for people struggling with addiction, because relationships make it harder for addicts to isolate themselves and makes compassionate intervention more natural. Whether it’s through relationships like in A Star is Born or not, the most important thing pop culture can do is remind us that addiction treatment and recovery are always options.

Because addiction is a disease, recovery isn’t a quick fix, but it is always possible. It’s a challenge to manage an addiction daily, which is why we need to remember to support recovering addicts as they navigate their unique challenge to maintain their relationships, jobs, family lives, and contributions to society. You need to call Ridgeview Ranch and speak with one of our Addiction Specialists today.

Pop culture’s responsibility is to navigate the fine line between showing the hope of recovery but also not watering down the dangers and negative effects of addiction and substance abuse. And while some movies like Requiem for a Dream do portray the authentic dark side of addiction, it also shows the addicts as beyond hope of recovery. Saying that recovery is out of reach is also harmful. Thankfully, culture’s perception is slowly changing, especially with the laws around narcotic possession. Many non-violent offenders are now given the option of going to addiction treatment instead of going to jail.

Whether we are making laws or making movies, it’s important to remember that there is always hope for addiction treatment and recovery.

The emphasis on hope is important in part because again, much of pop culture tends to display addiction or substance abuse as a choice, even as a “party lifestyle.” But once an addiction takes over, it isn’t a decision anymore, it’s a serious medical disease.

Just as the long-term effects of substance abuse are often downsized in pop culture, so are the recoveries, if they are shown at all.

Because addiction is a disease, recovery isn’t a quick fix, but it is always possible. It’s a challenge to manage an addiction daily, which is why we need to remember to support recovering addicts as they navigate their unique challenge to maintain their relationships, jobs, family lives, and contributions to society.

We need to do our best to empower our community towards understanding addiction better by removing both the glamor of substance abuse and the stigma of addiction treatment. If you or a loved one needs compassionate support and effective addiction treatment, we’re here for you with 30, 60, or 90-day Residential Treatment Programs. We believe there is always hope! Learn more by calling (800) 296-1868 or use our convenient Contact form.

Caffeine Overdose is No Joke

We like to joke, post, and wear t-shirts about being a “coffee addict,” or having “caffeine withdrawals,” but according to expert medical sources, it’s a real and very dangerous thing.

Most people know that caffeine is a stimulant that causes various effects on consumers, notoriously causing feelings of alertness by making brain-body messages travel faster. But many people don’t know that this can reach a dangerous – even deadly – level.

Caffeine overdose is rare, but the actual problem most often related to energy drinks or supplements that contain very high levels of caffeine. Overdoses most often occur in children and adolescents who are more susceptible to the effects of the stimulant. Since the conception of online databases, 92 lethal caffeine overdoses have been recorded.

What is considered an overdose?

Caffeine tends to start affecting the body once that the blood system contains more than 15 milligrams of caffeine per liter of blood. A concentration of 80-100 milligrams per liter can be fatal. Keep in mind that consuming too much caffeine happens easier when using caffeine supplements, especially if combined with coffee, tea, sodas, or energy drinks. Medical experts agree that caffeine powder is the most dangerous – just a teaspoon of powdered caffeine can be equivalent to 28 cups of coffee!

How to recognize an overdose

Typical symptoms of caffeine overdose can include very fast or irregular heartbeat, shakiness, nausea or vomiting, chest pain, rapid breathing, confusion, panic attacks, and more. Seek medical advice immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms. The most common cause of death from caffeine overdose is from ventricular fibrillation- when the lower chambers of the heart vibrate rather than contracting regularly. This leads to cardiac arrest.

 How to avoid consuming too much caffeine

Be aware of your caffeine intake by understanding where your caffeine is coming from. Coffee, tea, cola, and energy drinks are the obvious caffeine culprits. But caffeine is also found in many workout supplements, cold and flu medications, chocolate, and other candies. Avoid mixing alcohol and caffeine, or consuming excessive caffeine when pregnant or breastfeeding. It’s advised that children and adolescents shouldn’t drink caffeine, as the full effects of caffeine on developing bodies aren’t fully known yet.

Most people know that caffeine is a stimulant that causes various effects on consumers, notoriously causing feelings of alertness by making brain-body messages travel faster. But many people don’t know that this can reach a dangerous – even deadly – level.

So what is safe?

Medical experts suggest that adults can usually safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day as part of their diet (up to five 8-ounce cups of coffee). In addition to talking with your doctor, the key to staying healthy while enjoying caffeine is to understand exactly what you are consuming and paying attention to how it’s affecting you. Don’t forget to spread the word about the dangerous effects of too much caffeine and the surprising products where it’s found.

If you need an effective resource to help with caffeine addiction or overdose, speak with our addiction recovery and rehab specialists: 877-526-7706 or use our convenient Contact form.