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Heroin and the Media

Early Sensationalism, Heroin Chic, Celebrities In The Spotlight

The media have never had an easy job of covering drug issues. Conservatives accuse the “liberal media” of not casting drug use in enough of a negative light. Liberals accuse the media of parroting national drug policy without in-depth analysis. The media have the job of objectively reporting stories on drugs that could be easily sensationalized, politically charged, or offensive to some citizens.

Media coverage of drug stories often intersects with drug references in popular culture. Quentin Tarantino's violent movie Pulp Fiction was accused of glamorizing and misrepresenting heroin use. (The movie features an overdose victim being revived by a dose of adrenaline injected directly into the heart. Though a dramatic on-screen rescue, it's not a treatment for overdose.)

The movie Trainspotting, which followed the story of several heroin addicts in Scotland, sparked an intense debate over whether the movie glamorized addiction.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaCommon Street Drugs