Sunday, May 07, 2006

And this month's Sloppy Reporting Award goes to...

Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal, for mindlessly perpetuating the myth that prescription drug addiction is inherently different than illicit drug addiction:
Prescription drug addiction is usually nothing like the addictions we see in the movies, where with a drug like cocaine, the user is constantly looking for the next high. According to Alan Gordon, director of drug and alcohol treatment services at Providence's Butler Hospital, a prescription drug addict is just trying to drag himself back to normalcy.
Daniel, are you suggesting that movies accurately portray cocaine addiction? Riiight, because all cocaine addicts are clearly those chapped-lipped, long-nailed prowlers who would kill their own mother for a better euphoria, while prescription drug addicts are poor, helpless politicians, talk-show hosts, and the like, simply trying to drag themselves back to normalcy. Surely, there are no prescription pill poppers who pop pills just to get high, just as there can't be any cocaine addicts trying to maintain normal lives.

Why not? Because the moving-picture-box told me so.

Tomorrow, I'm putting in my application for a Staff Writer position at the Journal. Here's a sample of the exposè I'm preparing:
Real journalists are usually nothing like the journalists we see in the movies, where with a value like journalistic integrity, the writer is constantly looking for the truth. According to Albert Jordan, director of distorted media at the Truth in Recovery clinic, a sloppy reporter compares real life to the movies as he tries to drag himself back to reality.

After first learning that Chuck Norris cannot, in fact, do three slow-motion roundhouse kicks in a row, the withdrawal symptoms can be "devastating", Jordan said.
Link to the Journal article


800 pound gorilla said...

I frequently use cinematic depictions in my book to show readers [targetted audience 12 - 24] how different real life is to what is shown in the cinema. If getting high is what it takes to relax enough for restful sleep it is therapeutic. However, when you can't get normal sleep without the drugs you have a dependency.

Those dependencies come from medicinal or therapeutic reasons exclusively. Getting high to be sociable is a different problem and doesn't involve drug dependencies. It can lead to addiction and when it's an addiction the use isn't recreational. If anything cinema thrives on atypical situations. Everyday life doesn't make entertaining cinema. Cinema also promotes violence and confrontation - two elements that are not psychologically healthy. My book tries to minimize these in peoples' lives. It's not very entertaining and readers won't lead exciting lives. Excitement and entertainment is highly overrated is the standard message.
But that gets us back to our mass media. It's never about informing the public about useful information that can improve their lives. It's always been about providing entertainment and excitement in their lives.

Anonymous said...

I started with OxyContin, used it for over a year, then switched to heroin, which I used for a little more than another year.

I switched to heroin because it was about 1/2 the price of OC... but the addiction, withdrawl, high... pretty much everything is the same between the two.