I wanted to get into a very tough subject, and talk a little bit about today’s music and drugs.
In recent years, I have done a lot of exploring in terms of different music genres. Lately, I have listened to ‘One Direction’ radio on iTunes radio, just because one day I decided, “Hey, I’m going to give them a try.” I was never into them when they first became big, and I’m still not a ‘Directioner’, by a long shot. Despite this, I found that they are indeed talented vocalists and I could appreciate their efforts.
But iTunes radio also plays songs from a variety of other artists in the same genre as One Direction. The more I listened to this music, the more I noticed some disturbing trends; and one of them happened to be the glorification of drugs.
I was doing some work for my father when this one song in particular caught my attention, because of the almost haunting beat. I quickly discovered the lyrics were no better, as I started listening just in time for the chorus:
“Oh, glazed eyes, empty hearts
Buying happy from shopping carts
Nothing but time to kill
Sipping life from bottles
Tight skin, bodyguards
Gucci down the boulevard
Cocaine, dollar bills
My happy little pill
Take me away
Dry my eyes
Bring color to my skies
My sweet little pill
Tame my hunger
Numb my skin.”
I was struck by the blatant glorification of this ‘happy little pill’, (slang for anti-depressants,) as well as the reference to cocaine and alcohol.
I did some research on it. The artist that wrote this song gave a somewhat philosophical explanation for it’s meaning, but in my opinion it seemed like a rather passive and unaccountable description of the dangerous message conveyed in the lyrics.
Here’s the thing, in this song, the artist doesn’t condemn the use of drugs to ‘find’ happiness.
He leaves us doubting the idea that maybe he’s critiquing society. He doesn’t offer a solution to unhappiness, but instead leaves the impression that you’re either happy or not happy, and nothing can change that. And if you’re not happy, well…anti-depressants are the perfect escape! At least, that’s what the song seems to say.
I get that depression is a real thing, that many bear the burden of.
I get that sometimes prescribed anti-depressants are necessary in severe cases. But the song can easily be misconstrued to say, “If you aren’t happy with your life, drugs can make you feel better about it.” To me, it sounds more like an advertisement for drug use. That’s concerning to me, because it’s a message that is being spread not only to us as teens (which is bad enough,) but also younger kids who aren’t necessarily going to be rational about a topic like this; especially if they are the rebellious or impulsive type. Maybe they wrongly think it will make them cool and popular.
‘Happy Little Pill’, although one of the more obvious songs, isn’t the only modern example of the media’s glorification of drugs.
It’s everywhere; in other songs, TV shows, music videos, books, etc. It always hits particularly close to home for me because my town is currently experiencing a drug epidemic. Overdoses, sometimes resulting in death, are becoming more and more common, and it’s only getting worse. It’s ironic to me how society’s younger generation especially, participates in and contributes to the growing drug culture, but then mourns the death of those who died because they were under the influence, remarking how it was ‘too soon’. If they really felt it was that tragic, if they felt the loss of life so deeply, it would seem to me that they would wan to strive to change the growing acceptance of drug culture…beginning with themselves.
I acknowledge that many of my peers may have the opinion that recreational drug use is acceptable in today’s society. Many have already dabbled in drug usage, and perhaps are struggling with addiction. I want you to know 3 important things.
1.) I am praying for you.
2.) You are so much stronger and better than the path you are choosing or have chosen to take.
3.) It’s not too late to turn back. Seek the help that you need. There is help available, and you can take control of your life again.
If you are resisting the temptation or pressure to try drugs, you are being strong, courageous, and smart, so good for you! Pray for the strength to continue fighting against it. If you have lost someone you care about as a result of overdose or the drug usage of someone else, my heart goes out to you. I strongly encourage you to take their story and use it to educate others. You know the pain and destruction that can be caused by substance abuse, so please, use it to discourage others from contributing to drug culture.
Lastly, to all of you: remember that your body is a temple of the Lord. You were given a body to honor Him with, through your actions. Using drugs is destructive, is in no way God-honoring, and ultimately hurts the ones you love most, and who love you.
What will you do with the temple of God that was given to you?