How To Promote Addiction Prevention In A Party Culture
Last April, Scott H. Silverman had the pleasure of being a guest on America Trends to discuss alcohol addiction. April is alcohol awareness month, and while having one month dedicated to raising awareness about addiction and recovery options is great, it is not a one-month problem.
During the interview, host Mary Burt-Godwin discusses “party culture,” which continues to be glamorized in popular shows like Euphoria. She also cites the "mommy drinking culture," where mothers pretend to need wine to survive child-rearing and WeWork founder, Adam Neumann, who seemed to be constantly drinking but never connected it with the company's failure.
Scott wasn’t surprised at all to hear this, as he knows firsthand the destructive nature of functioning alcoholism.
He mentions the trouble isn’t in going to a party or having a glass of wine with dinner; it’s in the people who “don’t have a stop sign.” They drink to excess and self-medicate, and they are most susceptible to using the glamorization in TV shows, music, and social groups as a means to take it too far.
Recently, Scott has developed an acronym for addiction prevention, which he calls PIE: Prevent, Inform, and Educate.
Once upon a time, a teen would go to a party and someone would say, “You have to try this!” Is trying drugs ever a good idea? No. But before drugs like fentanyl were introduced, saying yes was never a matter of life and death. It is now. Even marijuana isn’t so simple anymore. Any drug could be laced with poison, and teens that have been drinking cannot make good decisions.
Talk to your kids. Don’t hide the dangers of fentanyl, alcohol, and drug addiction from your teen. It’s difficult to think about. Parents say: Not my child, never my child, but your child is not immune to peer pressure. It’s better to be sure they have too much information than not enough. Yes, your child. Always your child. Don’t let denial keep you from having this vital conversation.
Research. Read books like The Opioid Epidemic, which details the rise of the opioid crisis, the signs of addiction, and what you can do to help yourself or a loved one who is in trouble. Use resources like Johnny’s Ambassadors for ideas on how to connect with your child and make sure the reality of addiction sinks in.
Glamorization becomes a problem when people can't differentiate between entertainment and reality. While Euphoria shows the ups and downs of addiction, you can never be sure which your kid is paying attention to.
Part of the reason smoking cigarettes became so popular is how it was portrayed in the media. Everyone wanted to be as tough as the Marlboro Man or as glamorous as Rita Hayworth. Nothing has changed, except today’s glamorous drugs of choice will kill you in a few seconds instead of decades.
Prevent. Inform. Educate.