How Does Music Impact Our Society’s View on Drugs and Alcohol?

Whether we recognize it or not, the music we hear has a significant impact on our societal views. Previous research has shown that music helps children ignite many areas of the brain for learning and development, but music, music lyrics, and music videos can also have a negative impact on the socialization of children. For example, a review conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics emphasized that what children hear and see with music can influence their behavior. Drugs, sex, and violence can certainly shape our child’s views depending on the message they hear from music, friends, family, and other influential factors. If you can, try to recall some of the most popular music that we have and the messages it sends about drugs and alcohol.

The Rolling Stone states that it wasn’t until the 1960’s that drugs and alcohol became really central to music played. Artists such as Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, AC/DC, Future, and many more have sung or rapped about substances such as alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and more. In fact, a study published in Science Daily found that music not only affects our mood, but can change the way we perceive the world. What does this mean for us? Perhaps all of this music that we’ve heard on the radio and seen in music videos has indeed caused us as a society to become laxer about drinking and using drugs, ultimately leading us to behave in line with the way we think.

Advertisers have certainly found their way in the music industry, with many artists getting paid to mention their beverages in their songs. The Drug Foundation highlights the song “Pass the Courvoisier”, Busta Rhymes’ hit song that allegedly helped the company Allied Domecq receive a major surge in purchases. As a society, how can we take back the control regarding our perceptions of the world? Well, there are a number of things you can do on a daily basis:

  • Analyze what you’re listening to. What do the lyrics say? What message does this send? Determine whether this falls in line or not with the way you want to view life.
  • Listen to music that promotes recovery, sobriety, equality, whatever positive aspects you’d like your life to consist of.
  • Remember that, in a sense, “you are what you listen to”. Since music has a major impact on our mood and perceptions of the world, it’s important that you choose to listen to music that benefits you.

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