Television shows have changed the stereotype of a drug user within the last few years. The drug users are no longer just portrayed in dark hallways of abandoned buildings and being carted away off to jail.
Today’s shows have put the drug abuser up a few income brackets and given them professional jobs. This change in the look of a typical drug user is more true to life, according to the website Addiction Search. The addicts on the rise today are professionals in business suits, doctors, nurses, and housewives.
The prescription drug abuse has been a highlight in many TV series, but two shows in particular have made the drug abuse a large part of the story plot. “House” and “Nurse Jackie,” are the two shows that use drug abuse to drive the main characters of the show.
For the first few seasons of “House” and the first season of “Nurse Jackie” it appeared as if the drugs were more of a help than a hinder. This was met with much opposition from the public. The shows were accused of “glorifying drug use,” according to the Prescription Drug Abuse Support Group. Their website has users complaining on how “Nurse Jackie” “makes drug use look cool.”
Then the story lines changed and the realities of what comes along with drug abuse and the consequences of stealing drugs, and lying due to addiction was scripted in. This was the responsible thing to do because by no means is drug abuse enriching someone’s life.
House did have pain in his leg from a brutal accident, but it was easy to see that the “Vicodin,” which was his choice of drug, was used for other reasons like getting away from emotional pain.
The same played out on “Nurse Jackie.” Jackie, who is the star of the show, was not as specific with her drug of choice as Dr. House was. She basically did opiates, but also dabbled in drugs that act as a stimulant when she needed the energy.
Both Dr. House and Jackie, were met with interventions from the people that cared about them and in Jackie’s case her family also intervened. This was not before both shows conveyed the horrendous down fall of these two characters due to their drug use.
Both shows did a wonderful job at bringing to the viewers the horrors of drug abuse. Dr House met with legal problems for falsifying prescriptions and he almost lost a good friend because he was forging his name on the prescriptions. House went to rehab and the newest season is dealing with how hard it is for this brilliant doctor to stay clean. The series is doing justice to the evil of drug abuse.
“Nurse Jackie” has just met with the intervention from her friends and family. It appears that the next season will deal with what Jackie does now that she is caught. Jackie’s drug abuse dealt with many heart breaking issues caused by this addiction. She was basically selling sex for pills to the pharmacist, her family was suffering due to her lack of a deeper involvement, she was stealing drugs from the hospital she works at, along with many other issues that have come up as Jackie got deeper into her drugs.
These two shows, which started out with a feeling that they were trying to normalize drug abuse, have made a turn around and have now done drug abuse justice. The real life of someone who is addicted to drugs is one of emotional pain, troubles with the law, and hurting the ones you love. This is where “House” and “Nurse Jackie” have finally taken the drug abuse and addiction issue.
Reference: “House” Yahoo, “Nurse Jackie” Yahoo, Addictions Search, Prescription Drug Abuse Support Group