The problem of drug abuse is not new in the United States, with many already dealing with its effects. A number of factors trigger drug-seeking behaviors, such as genetics, biological and environmental factors, a co-occurring mental disorder, etc. Moreover, people, exposed to crime and violence early in their life, begin to abuse substances at a young age. In addition, many abuse drugs and alcohol merely for recreational purposes like feeling high and boosting mood. Many youngsters passionately follow the footsteps of their favorite actors and celebrities; hence, they run the increased risk of developing drug-seeking behaviors.
A recent study, conducted by the researchers at the University of South Florida and published in the Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, found that hip-hop music is wheedling Afro-Americans into using 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine MDMA. MDMA, a popular psychedelic drug commonly known by the street names ecstasy or molly, is generally used for recreational purposes. Singers like Kanye West, French Montana and Rick Ross have been blamed for inspiring their fans through the lyrics of their songs to use molly. A majority of the respondents, somewhere around four-fifths of Afro-Americans, admitted of trying molly under the influence of hip-hop music.
Rappers driving the use of molly by calling it safe
To conduct the study, the researchers interviewed 100 African-American young adults who had tried molly at some point of their life. Around 82 percent of the study participants said that hip-hop music influenced their decision to try the drug or not. Several songs praise drugs and alcohol describing it as an excellent way to party and reduce sexual inhibitions.
Dr. Khary Rigg, Ph.D., professor of mental health law and policy at the University of South Florida and study’s lead author, has warned the users of the potential dangers of the drug. “Molly, although not as dangerous as opioids, has been linked to psychiatric problems, sexual risk taking and adverse health outcomes like seizures, irregular heartbeat, hyperthermia and even death,” said Rigg.
When talking about the extent to which celebrities can trigger the drug use, the study participants said that listening to the lyrics by leading rappers like Kanye West made them comfortable in trying the drug. One of the study participant said that the rappers refer to the drug as safe and are generally partying, drinking and having fun when using it. He has never heard them saying anything about getting addicted or dying. For instance, Kanye West mentions MDMA in one of his songs that goes, “Let’s take it back to the first party, when you tried your first Molly.” French Montana has an entire song titled “Molly” dedicated to this drug.
The previous studies mostly focused on the white population and other regular music lovers. But, this new study has shifted its focus on understanding the pattern of molly use among Afro-Americans and the influence of hip-hop music. Most of the users, particularly youngsters, start abusing drugs as dangerous as molly in the bid to imitate the lifestyle of their idols—partying, drinking, smoking and having sex. Since most of the hip-hop artists are from the African-American community, the influence of their lifestyle and songs is more apparent among the youngsters from the same race.
However, the study highlights that celebrities and musicians can also be the source of prevention of drug addiction by promoting messages against drug-seeking behaviors. Music can become an effective medium to fight the menace of drug abuse spreading like a contagious disease among people. When used for the promotion of health and safety, it can effectively dissuade users from falling into a vicious cycle.
Detoxification is possible
Detox is the first step toward recovery. It is essential to send a person grappling with drug abuse to a specialized detox facility to help him or her flush out all the unwanted and unnatural substances that might delay the recovery process. Once this step is completed, the person is capable to complete the pending steps successfully, necessary to attain complete recovery.
If you or someone you know is addicted to any form of drugs or substances, contact the California Detox Helpline for help. Call our 24/7 detox helpline 855-780-2495 or chat online with one of our experts to know about the best detox centers in California.