Mix music with feelings, not with substance abuse

07-06-2017 Posted in drug abuse, Drug Addiction, Substance Abuse

There is a close association between music and drugs. In fact, taste for a particular genre of music shapes a person’s social and personal behavior, such as sense of dressing, visiting certain pubs, inclination toward certain drugs, etc. Therefore, the kind of music a person prefers to listen in daily life immensely affects his or her personality.

When it comes to examining the relationship between music and drugs, rock or heavy metal music, often narrowly viewed as the genres of music portraying racism, blasphemy, destructive behavior, drug abuse, promiscuous sexual activity and violence, are some of the most studied forms of music. This is the reason why deviant behavior among youngsters is commonly associated with such genres of music.

With the abuse of drugs like 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA), marijuana, meth, etc. spiking tremendously over the last few decades, particularly in such rave parties, incidents of overdose and death have increased. Recent data suggest that there was a 2.2-fold increase in the total number of deaths arising due to an overdose of drugs from 2002 to 2015.

Despite the growing trend of using drugs during music festivals and parties, Professor Adrian North of Heriot-Watt University, who is an expert in music psychology has, on the basis of the largest study on musical tastes highlighted that the public perceives heavy metal fans quite stereotypically as suicidal, depressed, and dangerous to themselves and society in general.

Common perceptions about different genres of music

Music can have a greater influence on the life of a teenager than television, illustrated the American Medical Association in 1989. While people with deep-rooted taste in classical music are perceived as creative, introvert, self-respecting and at ease, the followers of rock or heavy metal music are seen as aggressive, rebellious, etc.

People develop a certain inclination for drugs the same way as they edge toward art or music. One’s taste in music can help him or her in creating different symbolic boundaries to define himself or herself. For example, people who hold a disposition for hip-hop music may share a common affinity for marijuana use those with the preference for the emerging techno music may feel attracted to drugs like ecstasy.

Among all, rock music is one of the most popular genres of music studied in relation to substance abuse. Besides the close connection between rock music and substance use, its subgenres have also been singled out for fascination for different drugs.

Rock/heavy metal music are known to cause adverse impacts on a teenager. A study including disturbed adolescents highlighted that about 60 percent of chemically dependent youngsters were fascinated toward heavy metal as their choice of music. They considered these genres as the kind of music that articulates their ambiguities and problems.

Contrary views on the contention

Contrary to the popular belief that heavy metal music upholds drug use, the music of the metal band Black Sabbath, an exceptionally popular and prominent band of the late 60s, penned down a totally different story. Though Ozzy Osbourne, the notable vocalist of the band, struggled with cocaine, heroin and alcohol dependency, the band’s lyrics inspired many youngsters to abstain substances by giving accounts of how perpetual substance use can devastate a person’s free will and produce different forms of miseries.

The band’s acclaimed song “Methademic” mirrors the debilitating effects of methamphetamine while “Shock Waves” portrayed the powerful potency of the drug “heroin.” By capturing the horror of substance abuse, these heavy metal songs succeeded in projecting the dreadful consequences of substances on an individual’s life.

Relax by listening to music, not by taking drugs

Music is known to trigger a soothing effect on the human brain just like drugs. Many of the studies have highlighted that music is associated with the enhancement of the dopamine levels in the brain. Additionally, music is closely related to the deepest reward system of the brain. Therefore, people should focus on taking preventive measures in curbing the epidemic caused by drugs rather than leveling such allegations against any genre of music.

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