Final Response Drug Culture Essay

Pages: 5 (1767 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Drugs

Drug Culture Final

The second half of this course has both reinforced my previous definitions of drug culture in film and has also introduced me into the different aspects thereof. Additionally, the films that were watched during the second half of the course complement the films that were watched during the first half of the course, and in some ways, parallel the narratives and structures thereof. For instance, Drugstore Cowboy provides insight into the depravity of drug addiction and explains what motivates an individual to resort to deviant behaviors, such as breaking and entering and theft to procure prescription pills to maintain his or her drug habit and remain high. Drugstore Cowboy reinforced the concepts of addiction as were seen in the Lost Weekend, however, unlike the Lost Weekend, Drugstore Cowboy focused on the addiction to substances that were not easily accessible to the general public. On the other hand, Brick, a neo-noir film that revolves around an investigation into a missing heroin brick, further allowed me to understand the hierarchical structure of modern day drug trafficking, and although the film's narrative is set in a high school, the structure of the drug ring depicted in the film is similar to real life drug hierarchies. Brick also provided me further insight into the repercussions of getting involved with drug dealers and traffickers, and how individuals in positions of power have the ability to not only dispose of individuals who betray them, but that do so without a fear of repercussion or retaliation from those who work for him or her. In a way, Brick parallels Cutter's Way in how people in a position of power are able to get away with murder. However, while Cutter's Way revolves around an investigation led by an individual that is under the influence of drugs -- alcohol, Brick revolves around an individual who is not personally involved with drugs, but rather has worked as an informant for the school's principle, and is only drawn into locating the missing brick(s) of heroin after his (recently) ex-girlfriend is murdered.

Clockers and Tulia, Texas helped to provide me with the most realistic insight into the drug world. Clockers focuses drug dealing and provides the viewer with a better understanding of the factors that influence individuals to get involved with drugs. Unlike Drugstore Cowboy, Clockers focuses on a drug dealers perspective and analyzes the everyday obstacles he must endure. Furthermore, the film also illustrates how law enforcement treat delinquents and how drug dealers' involvement in deviant behavior immediately increases the likelihood of being considered a suspect. Clockers also illustrated the effect that an individual's environment has on the choices they make; additionally, people that hold a position of power within the community hierarchy also influence others and aid in the development of their behavior, which can be seen through the interaction between Strike and Tyrone "Shorty" Jeeter, and Shorty's behavioral development.

On the other hand, Tulia, Texas, a documentary, provides insight into the prejudices that are used against drug dealers. Furthermore, Tulia, Texas provides insight into a secondary issue of the drug raids in Tulia: race. One of the things that was most shocking about the issues depicted in the documentary was the absurd sentences given to the African-Americans busted in the drug raids orchestrated by a corrupt undercover agent and the unfair and illegal approach he took, which included the arrest of a star athlete with no prior criminal record. One of the things that is interesting about this documentary, in addition to the drug bust, is the tensions between blacks and whites in the community and how those tensions increased dramatically after African-Americans busted in the raid were given more severe sentences than their white counterparts. Thus, Tulia, Texas demonstrates that the war on drugs is used as an excuse for individuals to act on their racial prejudices.

Lastly, Cabin in the Woods, provided the least serious approach to drugs as drug use in the film was casual and recreational. In the film, drug use is not a major plot point, but rather helps to drive the narrative, similarly to how drugs were used in the Big Lebowski. Furthermore, drug use in Cabin in the Woods is used as a plot device and one of the only reasons that the stoner is included in the horror portion of the narrative is because the horror scenario programmers needed a stoner to complete their ritual.

Part II

During this semester, I have witnessed how drugs are stigmatized and have noticed that much more attention is paid to illicit drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroine, and the more easily accessible alcohol, whereas "legal" drugs in the form of prescription medications do not receive the same level of attention even though they also contribute the formation of drug culture. In more recent times, marijuana use, although still stigmatized, has become more accepted, as can be seen through its use as a medicinal aid and supplement, and through its legalization in states like Washington and Colorado. I believe prescription drug abuse is much more dangerous because of how ignorant individuals are about the drugs they are taking and the possible bad interactions those drugs may have when they are combined with other drugs. The slightest negative interaction could easily lead to an accidental overdose or even death. Moreover, I believe that this is an important topic within drug culture because prescribing pills to treat any and all ailments a patient may have has become common in society. Depressed? Anxious? Can't sleep? There's a pill for that. Advertisements for these types of drugs are frequently run on television, in magazines, and online. Furthermore, I would hope to target individuals that enjoy prescription pills in a recreational setting and obtain them from a dealer much like they would other illicit drugs like marijuana, heroin, or cocaine; individuals who have access to prescription pills because they know someone who has a prescription, or they have access to them in their home because a family member has been give a prescription for them; and individuals who have inadvertently become addicted to prescription medication after they were prescribed pills as part of a legitimate treatment plan by their doctors. Despite my ambitions, I believe that obstacles I would have to overcome would be getting people to recognize and/or admit that they have a problem. In relation to the films and media we watched during the semester, I believe that awareness to this issue would fit best with the PSAs that we watched.

The films we watched during the second half of the course have made a considerable impression on me and have provided some memorable scenes. In Brick, one of the most memorable scenes occurs when Brendan discovers his ex-girlfriend's body, Emily, facedown at the bottom of a drainage ditch. This was memorable because it allows the viewer to see how individuals within the drug trafficking world are considered to be expendable and how they can easily lose their lives for simply being involved in the trade. One of the most memorable scenes in Clockers occurs at the end of the film when Tyrone rides up to Errol and shoots him point blank before cycling away. This a tragic scene because Strike finally realizes the influence he had on the child, and how living in a low-income neighborhood negatively affected the behavioral development of Tyrone, despite his mother's best efforts. Cabin in the Woods's most memorable drug-related moment occurs at the beginning of the film when Marty, the horror film's proverbial stoner, arrives at his friends' home before they embark on their trip to a cabin in the woods. In this scene, Marty drives up to the house while smoking a giant stainless steel bong, which transforms into a regular-sized coffee cup. This scene is memorable because of Marty's ingenuity and his complete disregard for what others may think about him. Drugstore Cowboy had two memorable scenes, the first of which occurs when Nadine overdoses on one of the group's drug scores. In this scene, Bob, Rick, and Diane return to the hotel after attempting to rob a hospital only to find Nadine sprawled on the floor. This scene is particularly horrifying because it demonstrates that people can die from a drug overdose the first time they use drugs as Nadine was not a habitual drug user and only helped the gang with their heists. The second most memorable scenes occurs at the end of the film when Bob is shot in his room after he has gotten his life together, quit drugs, and gotten a job. Bob is attacked by one of his former drug associates who believes he is holding drugs and intends to rob him of them. This scene is especially poignant because Bob forces the viewer to realize that once an individual is embroiled in the drug scene, he or she will always be part of it because they will never be able to escape their past.

Part III

While Brick,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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