Heroin in Pop Culture

Television, movies, and other aspects of pop culture all have discussed and disseminated drugs, including heroin in a variety of ways ever since the drug first started being used. Sometimes they glamorize it, and sometimes these movies, tv shows, books and other aspects of pop culture are meant as a warning against it.

Heroin in Movies

Trainspotting is a popular movie and book that delves deep into the ins and outs of a group of friends and associates who are heroin addicts. The movie follows Mark Renton, Spud Murphy, Tommy MacKenzie, Sick Boy Williamson and Franco Begbie as they deal with the trials of heroin addiction and constantly try to get on and off the drug. At times, the movie glamorizes heroin addiction, particularly in the way that Renton describes the high, but it also is honest about the worst part of addiction, including AIDS, homelessness, trouble with the law, and the neglect of friends, family members and dependants, including a harrowing scene where a young woman and her friends allow a baby to die from neglect.

Requiem for a Dream is often considered one of the best movies about the perils of drug abuse. One of the main characters, Harry, is a heroin addict. The movie explores all the dark sides of the disease including a sequence at the end in which Harry ends up in prison and loses his leg due to his addiction to heroin and the poor healthcare he received as a prisoner. The movie also explores the negative effect his addiction has on his friends and family.

Sherlock Holmes and the various spin-offs and adaptations of this Conan Doyal classic also involve heroin addiction in one way or another. In some series and stories, it is a major part of the struggle and in others it is either only lightly referenced or not at all. Two versions stand out. In Elementary, Sherlock is under the care of Joan Watson because he is a recovering addict and some of he episodes he visits old acquaintances who are still living a hard life, and in one of the original stories, Watson and Sherlock pay a visit to a filthy opium den.

Heroin in Music

Angel, by Sarah McLachalan, Hurt by the Nine Inch Nails, and Under the Bridge by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers are all rock songs that deal with different aspects of heroin addiction, abuse and recovery. Each one of them is a reflection of the pain of abuse and the hurt that addiction leaves in its path.

Seeking Help for Heroin Addiction

One thing that it is important to remember is that no matter how you have seen heroin addiction and use portrayed in pop culture it is a terrifying addition that should be taken seriously. If you or someone you know is addicted to heroin. you should encourage them to seek treatment, either through a rehab facility, outpatient treatment or through a support group.

Inpatient treatment is one of the most effective ways to help recover fromĀ heroin addiction. It allows patients to receive around the clock care, and the opportunity to focus on getting better, rather than having to worry about their day to day lives. A good treatment facility also provides access to drug and alcohol abuse counselors and support groups.

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