Drugs, Booze and Rock and Roll

They’ve at it again! In May, the folks at ProjectKnow.com made an infographic about the use of drug and alcohol terms in Hip-Hop music.

Now they’ve done it for Rock and Roll.

Project Know is an organization founded to inform parents and family members of those struggling with addiction, as well as addicts and alcoholics themselves, about the options available for treating addiction.

The infographic depicts the number of rock songs which mention specific drugs, as well as which drugs a rocker will most frequently refer. Tom Wait tops the list of Top Ten Artists with Songs about Drugs. He is followed by the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan. Alcohol is the number 1 drug referred to by all three. When you look at the number of drug references as a percentage of the number of songs the artist or group has performed, then Hollywood Undead leads the pack, with over half of their songs having drug or alcohol references!

We reproduce the infographic for your perusal.
drugs in rock

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

1 Comment

  1. Hai-Uyen Nguyen

    November 4, 2014 at 1:01 am

    Reading this article reminded me of a documentary I watched called Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease and Pushing Drugs. In it, health care providers outline the pharmaceutical industry’s impact on the drugs that we ask our health care providers about as well as the drugs that we ultimately choose to take. The media has a huge impact on how we see things and how we react to certain drugs. The general public, as well as health care providers, are constantly bombarded with propaganda. As the documentary states, direct to consumer advertising rose to more than 4 billion dollars a year in 2004, and the number is even higher now. On the television, we constantly see advertisements for diseases (some which are made up). The documentary talks about the drug Sarafem, the identical drug to Prozac that is used to treat Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder is not an actual disease. However, consumers are willing to pay almost three times the generic after seeing the advertisement for this disease. In advertisements, people are often shown having a horrible time because of a disease that is afflicting them. Once they take the medicine, the advertisement switches to a clip of the person completely better and much happier (supposedly because they took the medication). It is clear that if an advertisement, which we do not watch voluntarily, has such a large impact on the way we view drugs, the music medium would have an even larger impact because we enjoy it and listen to it voluntarily, making us more prone to being influenced by the lyrics.
    I am sure this effect is present in the general public with music such as rock and roll. When artists are constantly singing about substance abuse and drugs, the rock and roll community is going to internalize these words. Whether it is consciously or unconsciously, we will be affected by the things that we are exposed to. A study on the presentation of breast cancer and the BRCA gene in Grey’s Anatomy and ER, people had behavior change related to breast cancer as a result of watching the two television shows. It is possible that listening to songs about drugs will make us more perceptive to the drugs if presented to us in reality, similar to how pharmaceutical advertisements make it more likely that we will recognize or request a certain prescription drug when visiting our doctor for a health-related problem. Because of this, it is extremely important to be aware of the media that we are being exposed to and preventing ourselves from being subconsciously influenced by it.

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