The film industries Bollywood and Hollywood have always been notoriously associated with drugs and weed in common perception. Last year, there was a furore over drug abuse when actress Rhea Chakravarti was accused of supplying drugs to actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Lately, Aryan Khan, the son of the iconic SRK, was put behind bars by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on charges of drug possession on a cruise party. Time and again, all eyes have turned to this persistent topic that darkens the doorstep of the glamorous world of stardom.
The recent debacle starring Aryan Khan reminds us of 2014 when Indio Falconer Downey, the son of the Iron Man star Robert Downey Junior--who was an obedient user of drugs and alcohol for a large part of his life--was arrested on suspicion of cocaine possession. Indio
pleaded guilty following which he was admitted to rehab.
One can’t help but ask why drug abuse is so prevalent among stars.
The money, the easy access and the party lifestyle of actors and actresses including the pressure of maintaining a certain public reputation at all times--this is the answer. Once actors become established, they might also feel that money and fame do not mean happiness. While the use of recreational drugs may seem to have a certain sense of aesthetic and romanticist appeal that enhances their art, the rampant use of drugs has devastated the lives of many stars. Wildly famous people such as pop star Michael `Jackson died of a drug overdose in 2009, and so did actor Michael Williams and Chris Farley.
Grammy winner Seth Rogen, who is known for his love for weed, talking about the same, once said, “It’s just a tool we use to make our experience more palatable, and some people need those tools a lot more than others. For me, it’s like shoes. For you, it might be like sunglasses. Not everyone’s the same,” Clearly, the drug use culture is deeply entrenched in the film world. But it’s undoubtedly a cause for worry. Is this the message we want to impart to adolescents and young adults who look up to their favourite actors? The normalization of drug abuse and the rave culture, as portrayed by the rash attitude of stars has a corrupting and harmful influence over their young audience.
Amidst the allegations being made recently, it would be in the best interests of all
for celebrities to come clean about their histories with drugs. Sharing their own struggles
with addiction, stars such as Sanjay Dutt, or even Drew Baltimore, have inspired
many youngsters to be able to give up drugs. It is high time that celebrities who
indulge in the use of substances give up such associations and seek help, to not only
impart a positive message to society but also prevent further embarrassment and
ill repute to the film industry.