Alcohol, Drugs, and Network TV

Drug Rehab in ColumbusOne of America's favorite past times, either individually or as a family, has long been watching television. In times past, we did not have to worry much about things being played out on TV that we would not want to watch ourselves or want our children to be exposed to. Unfortunately, with modern shows and reality TV the theme of the show often revolves around issues that we never expected to be shown on our television screen. This post will look at how network TV portrays substance abuse and what that means for us today. If you need alcohol or drug rehab in Columbus, OH, know that Legacy Freedom is here to help you. Call us today to schedule your first appointment.

Depending on your age, one of the first times you saw a character who indulged in alcohol may have been on the Andy Griffith Show. This show aired from 1960 through 1968. Otis was one of the first alcoholics portrayed in a television show. Later other characters appeared such as Frank Gallagher in Shameless, Charlie on Two and a Half Men, Barney on The Simpsons and virtually all of the characters in Mad Men. Most of the shows portray alcohol in an exaggerated way or in a humorous way. We know that is never the issue at hand.

We also know that children and young adults are influenced by the video games that they play, especially those that show dangerous situations. It is often found that the reality of day to day life is very much affected by what they see on these small screens. It becomes hard to figure out what is real and what is not in some cases. If we know that these things are playing a role in forming the character of young adults, then we should also look at what these TV characters and their behaviors are doing as well.

To get a better idea on how the depiction of drug and alcohol use in shows are affecting young adults the addiction and recovery resource website Project Know did a survey of more than 70,000 TV scripts and looked for related terms. These terms were beer, alcohol, liquor, and a variety of drugs. They looked to see how often these terms were used in a television show. The following are some of those shows and how many times these terms were referred to. These terms will be classed both by genre and drug type. The following are some of those shows that rated highest in this survey. For the best alcohol and drug rehab in Columbus, consider Legacy Freedom of Columbus.

  1. Bones One of the most popular television shows today Bones recently ended a 12-season run. In this show there were many hard-hitting narcotics mentioned. Two of the main characters were often working a case involving drug dealers, meth labs, and drug addicts. The Project Know study found that most dramas dealing with crime and action had the most references to hard drugs. In this show opium was mentioned 20 times, and heroin was mentioned 51 times. In total drugs and alcohol were mentioned 596 times in this show.
  2. Shameless The Gallagher family are the main characters of this show that features alcohol problems. Marijuana shows up in the sitcom from time to time. The show does a good job portraying the ill effects of alcohol and drug abuse. The characters are always attempting to get help for their substance abuse issues. The number of drug and alcohol mentions on this show numbered 645 times.
  3. Law and Order is another of those TV shows that has been long running and is very popular. In the Project Know survey this show was ranked #10 for the number of times alcohol is mentioned which topped 365. It also came in number three  in cocaine mentions with 69. It was number two for mentions of “crack” which totaled 42. Heroin was mentioned 47 times which makes it ninth in the rankings. It also ranked fourth in mentions of marijuana which came in at 72 times. Opium and methamphetamine were the only two drugs in which they did not make the top 10.
  4. ER Many of us find ourselves watching hit TV shows that involve a medical series or a hospital setting. ER is one of those long running hits that many people love to watch. This show ranks as one of the top TV shows that has plots that involve drugs and alcohol. One of the show's main characters, Abby, is an alcoholic. The show also comes in fourth with the most mentions of meth amphetamine or meth. This tops 254 times mentioned. The total times drug or alcohol is mentioned on this show was 720.
  5. Cheers was one of the older sitcoms we all enjoyed. Cheers actually took place in a bar. In this sitcom characters were always gathered in the bar. In this show no one ever was really drunk on a regular basis. However, they did talk about alcohol and drinking throughout the entire show. This show succeeded in making folks feel comfortable with their neighborhood bar. The theme was socialization and fellowship with other folks who showed up to drink at the establishment. Unfortunately, this means this show ranked #1 for alcohol mentions and the total mentions of alcohol in this show came in at 785.

As you can see substance abuse is a popular topic for writers of television shows. This is an enormous influence on all of us as we watch plots being played out involving alcohol and drugs. As parents we must be diligent about what our children and teens are watching. Talk to them about what they are seeing and how they should be reacting.

Alcohol and Drug Rehab in Columbus You Can Depend On

Alcohol abuse isn’t something that can be resolved overnight. It’s a genuine problem that many enter alcohol rehab for. If you are suffering from alcohol abuse and need help, contact Legacy Freedom. Our counselors are standing by to help. No matter how bad alcohol use has become, there’s still hope for recovery. Contact us to learn more about our alternative programs for alcohol and drug rehab in Columbus, OH.


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