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Social Media and Substance Abuse

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Social Media and Substance Abuse

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  • November 2009
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Running head: SUBSTANCE ABUSE: PAST AND CURRENT TRENDS OF CELEBRITY USE AND MEDIA REPORTING

Substance Abuse: Past and Current Trends of Celebrity Use and Media Reporting University of Phoenix
Chemical Dependency in the Workplace
PSY425
Todd Holman
Nov 07, 2009

Introduction
Substance abuse in America ebbs and flows from generation to generation. However, the exposure of todays generation to much more than past generations due to the dramatic increase in the availability of information through news media both on television and the internet. Americans have reached a time in which substance abuse by celebrities is seen, via these outlets, with little to no legal repercussions and at times elevating those involved to new heights of stardom. Even those not in the celebrity limelight are influenced by “reality” shows. These shows promote the average Joe to celebrity status often by showing “real life” scenarios that include the use of alcohol and drugs. This almost unobscured access into the sometimes illegal and immoral parts of celebrities and non-celebrities private lives has influenced the landscape of what is considered socially and morally acceptable levels of substance abuse. Celebrities vs. Reality TV Stars

Celebrity status used to be defined as actors and actresses, singers, musicians, athletes, and politicians. Most Americans saw these celebrities as untouchable because their only exposure to them was via movies, traditional news media such as newspaper and magazines and television. During the early 1990s Music Television (MTV) began a new show called The Real World in which they moved a group of young adults into a house and followed them on camera (The Real World: New York, 1992). Those watching saw the ‘reality’ of what happens when people of varying cultures, beliefs, race, gender and sexual preference living together and thus the door to reality television was open. The average American could now associate with...