The Ozzy Effect

Little Pasture reports that the .gov is reporting that drug use is down.  Now, over at Say Uncle’s, one of his readers raises a good point that it’s unclear whether drug use is down as much as they say or if people are more reluctant to tell an increasingly nosey and lawless .gov that they’re doing drugs.  But let’s say that drug use is down, at least some.

Why might that be?

I don’t know, but I’m going to posit one possible reason:

Ozzy Osbourne.

Who wants to grow up to be like him?

Yes, everyone knows that, if you use drugs, you might become an addict, but at least there’s something dramatically tragic about addiction, at least in how it’s portrayed in the media.  And you might die, but again, the deaths–at least from the outside–are glamorous and tragic.

Drugs are fun.  That’s the main reason people do them.

Do people know that there’s some danger?  Yes, but we justify it to ourselves by saying that either it’s not going to be a problem for us or, if it is a problem, it will be a grand epic problem that we will GET THROUGH.

And, I posit that it’s easy enough, even if you know boring asshole addicts who are annoying and scary and con artisty, to convince yourself that, if you become addicted to drugs, it’s not going to be like that; it’s going to be tragic and glamorous, just like a rock star, until you see that even said rock stars don’t always become tragic, glamorous messes, but sometimes just become men old before their times dottering around in the wrecked shells they left themselves.

I just don’t think that there was any more effective “This is what becomes of drug users…” campaign in the 00s than The Osbournes, and it doesn’t surprise me at all that, as that became the public face of what drug use is, drug use declined.

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