The Basketball Diaries

Good Essays
Lizzie Janes
Drugs and Behavior

Within Hollywood’s movies depiction of drug addiction, many have failed to represent all true aspects that come along with such lifestyles. The movie, The Basketball Diaries, is based off a novel Jim Carroll wrote from his own diary entries. As a teenager growing up in the sixties, Carroll reveals his progression of drug abuse which eventually leads him addicted to heroin.Heroin is a white powder derived from morphine found in opium. It is commonly prescribed as a painkiller, but is also a popular street drug.The director casted Leonardo DiCaprio as Jimmy, and concentrates on creating the character as a stereotypical drug abuser. DiCaprio’s most captivating scene is when he is going through heroin withdrawals. The viewer also get an accurate depiction of heroin when Jimmy is describing his first time using heroin.Overall the movie is probably one of the best at revealing the realities of drug abuse by not glamorizing it but by showing the downward spiral it can cause on ones life. By analyzing Jimmy’s first time using and eventual dependence of heroin it is easy to see there are realistic and unrealistic scenes to The Basketball Diaries. The movie follows Jim Carroll through his progression of drug use and the circumstances that led to him to finally become sober. At the beginning, Jim has many friends, attends a Catholic School, and is a star on his basketball team. Even with such protective factors in play, Jim finds himself and friends taking drugs and participating in risky behavior. He starts off huffing, moves to snorting cocaine, takes barbiturates, and eventually become heavily addicted to heroin. His addiction slowly takes over his life, as he stops playing basketball, drops out of school, and get kicks out of his house. After going through an intense withdrawal, he still abuses drugs and does not become sober until after getting arrested. In the end Jim is seen talking to others about his addiction, in hopes to



Cited: Grilly, David M., J. D. Salamone, and David M. Grilly. Drugs, Brain, and Behavior. Boston: Pearson, 2012. Print. "Heroin Overview : Pharmacology | Methoide." Heroin Overview : Pharmacology | Methoide. Family and Community Medicine, n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. .

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    Volkow M.D., Nora D. “Drugs, Brain, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.” National Institue on Drug Addiction. August 2010. Web. 29 September 2012.…

    • 1063 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Cited: University of Phoenix PSY 425. (2010) Levinthal, C. F. (2010). Drugs, Behavior, and Modern Society (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson. Retrieved Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 9 October 2010.…

    • 1415 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Neuroscience and psychology seem to have been working together to try to understand how and why certain behaviors transpire in a person’s personality, and what makes or motivates a person to do the things they do. One of the most analyzed wonders that mark motivation, the thought developments, and the social interaction, is the analysis of drug obsession. Through advance forms of scanning the brain with imaging equipment like positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have advanced the knowledge of drug addiction and how the brain is affected (Volkow, Fowler, & Wang, 2003,para 2). This paper will examine the brain structures and functions, the influence of extrinsic and intrinsic factors to abstain from drug use and the heredity and environmental factors on the motivation used to refrain from drug use.…

    • 1098 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Phobias and Addictions

    • 885 Words
    • 4 Pages

    O 'Brien, C.P., Childress, A.R., Ehram, R., & Robbins, S.J. (1998). Journal of Psychopharmacology, 12.…

    • 885 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    Dramatic advances in science over the past 20 years have shown that drug addiction is a chronic relapsing disease that results from the prolonged effects of drugs on the brain. (Leshner, 1997) It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain structure and how the brain works. (Volkow and Schelbert, 2007) As with many other brain diseases, addiction has embedded behavioral and social-context aspects that are important parts of the disorder itself. Therefore, the most effective treatment approaches will include biological, behavioral, and social-context components. Recognizing addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use can impact society’s overall health and social policy strategies and help diminish the health and social costs associated with drug abuse and addiction (Leshner, 1997).…

    • 1701 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Better Essays

    Final Project EN3220

    • 2234 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Tolliver, B. K., Price, K. L., Baker, N. L., LaRowe, S. D., Simpson, A. N., McRae-Clark, A. L., & ... Brady, K. T. (2012). Impaired Cognitive Performance in Subjects with Methamphetamine Dependence during Exposure to Neutral versus Methamphetamine-Related Cues. American Journal of Drug & Alcohol Abuse, 38(3), 251-259. doi:10.3109/00952990.2011.644000…

    • 2234 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Dusek, Dorothy E., Daniel A. Girdano. Drugs: A Factual Account. 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993. Print.…

    • 2136 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    References: Ghodse, H. (2012). Drugs of Abuse and Dependence In: Cambridge University Press (ed.), Drugs and Addictive Behavior: A Guide to Treatment. (pp.98-99). New York, New York Cambridge University Press…

    • 1082 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Research Paper SUB606

    • 2721 Words
    • 9 Pages

    People use drugs for a variety of reasons, some may be to self-medicate, to overcome anxiety, to deal with a past that they want to forget, or even just to fit in with a crowd. However, most of the users, initially, do not think or care of the after side effects which could include addiction. There are many factors that come into play on if a person will be more susceptible to addictions such as “heredity, environment, psychoactive drugs and compulsive behaviors” (Inaba & Cohen, 2011).…

    • 2721 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Basketball is a game I started very recently. In fact, I was hardly interested in it. The complexity of the game always made me feel like I’d never enjoy being a part of it. However, the game took me by surprise. A lot of my close friends were part of the team and they were so passionate about it. Very recently, in the beginning of 12th grade, my friends coerced me to attend practice. Waking up early morning and running to the gym was literally the worst part of my day.…

    • 221 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    I remember it like it was yesterday, well if you wanted to be technical you could say I remembered the whole last week, considering this was nearly the seventh time it had happened. I remember falling to my knees with my head against the fabric of my bed sheets while balling my weary eyes up into huge puddles of tears buried in my pillow, asking myself why didn't they pick me ? "why aren't I good enough ?!". Making the school Basketball team is something that was a very huge goal for me at the start of every school year, and a motive at the start of every summer.Till this day I haven't made neither my middle school nor high school Basketball team, I've only came very close. My freshman year of high school is where it hurt the most. I had finally started to get a…

    • 848 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    HBO “What is Addiction.” HBO Addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Web. 15 April 2012.…

    • 2072 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Meyer, J. S., & Quenzer, L. F. (2005). Psychopharmacology: Drugs, the brain, and behavior. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, Inc.…

    • 2144 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Volkow, N. C. (2010, March). “Methamphetamine Abuse and Addiction.” Retrieved March 23, 2012, from National Institute On Drug Abuse. http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/methamphetamine…

    • 1102 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Best Essays

    At Risk Youth

    • 3591 Words
    • 11 Pages

    This paper profiles the main character in the movie the Basketball Diaries. In the movie, released in 1995 Leonardo DiCaprio, plays Jim Carroll, a troubled youth. The movie was actually adapted from Jim Carroll’s best selling novel which is a true story highlighting his struggles and addictions. During the two-hour movie the story of Jim Carroll’s life and his many struggles as a troubled teen unfolds before our eyes. Jim can be classified as an at-risk youth since he is raised to a single parent in a lower socio-economic, urban neighborhood. During the course of the movie he faces a series of setbacks that leads him to make a series of bad decisions. As with many adolescents that make bad decisions his bad decisions lead to other bad decisions. Without any interventions from a positive role model in his life he falls further and further into addiction and other harmful behaviors. By the end of the movie Jim finds himself in a perilous degenerative state. He drops out of school,…

    • 3591 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Best Essays