Music’s Harmful Influence on Teens


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Emma Phoenix, Mirada Staff

The news of rapper Mac Miller’s death sparked a new conversation of drugs and addiction plaguing societies younger generations. In recent months, numerous celebrities have either died due to drug overdoses or were dangerously close to death because of drug usage.

Stars like Drake, Travis Scott, and Migos all reference or have referenced the use of drugs in their music. All of these artists have a following in the millions on social Instagram: Drake, 47.1 million, Travis Scott, 11 million, Migos, 8.1 million.

With kids being more vulnerable than adults it’s easy for kids to believe these things that famous rappers are saying to their younger audiences.

Romanticizing a life full of drugs and addiction leads kids to believe that “drinking lean” or “popping a xan” is a lifestyle to dream of.

The reality of this “lifestyle” isn’t a dream at all. Legendary performers like Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston and Prince have all suffered a drug addiction and have passed away because of their addictions.

The child brain is most impressionable during the ages of 6-14 as written by Jacquelynne S. Eccles, a psychologist who wrote an article on brain development. Even after the age of 14, the human brain continues to develop until it reaches the age of 25 and sometimes later than that.

Social media today allows people of all ages, especially young kids in the 6- 14 year old range to be encouraged by celebrities who promote drug use.

What is so belittled nowadays is how much of a problem drug addiction is and the impact it has on your life. These lyrics cover the true problem and glorify the way drugs are without promoting the consequences that come with the use of them.

Addiction is what makes the use of drugs and the younger generation being introduced to them so early so  incredibly dangerous. Addiction is “a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences,” as reported by The National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The way addiction starts is by the simple ingestion of a drug taken orally or through injection. Initially when the drug is taken, the body experiences a sort of “high”; however, over time, regular drug use alters the brain and instead of feeling that “high” a person needs to take the drug just to feel normal.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse also reported that “people with addiction show physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision-making, learning and memory, and behavior control.”

When kids are introduced to drugs before their brains are fully developed, the mixture of addiction and an underdeveloped brain .makes for a dangerous equation.