There has often been a perverse glorification of a great many drugs in modern society (and old ones, too). However, none of those drugs have ever quite been as deified as the modern incarnation of cocaine. Media and people’s perceptions have glorified cocaine to the point that it can be hard to get a proper image of the strong negatives of the drug. Here are a few ways how…

Only the rich are portrayed with cocaine

When we see images of people doing cocaine, they are almost never seen as struggling drug addicts. Almost always, they are powerful businessmen or high-class celebrities, members of the upper crust. The problem with this is that these are people that many aspire to be like. Who doesn’t want to be rich and powerful, to some degree? We also rarely see the rich struggling with the negative effects of cocaine. They always seem to be on top of the world and doing great. Granted, this media portrayal may be because cocaine is very expensive, and only those with money could continuously use it. But oftentimes those addicted to cocaine are poor and spending what little they have to try and get another hit, making this stereotype particularly harmful.

Usually only shown at parties

Cocaine is known as the ultimate party drug and, second to alcohol, is the most associated drug with parties. The image of a raging party is already seen as fun, and highly stimulating. Because cocaine is usually only shown in this type of setting, we associate it with the exhilaration that parties provide. Indeed, almost every really exciting party scene in a movie shows people using cocaine. This image, however, is only surface level, and rarely shows the destruction that many experience in their home lives due to cocaine use. It also neglects the violence that is associated with the origins of cocaine, and ultimately, is rather an irresponsible representation.

Shown as a “workhorse” drug

People on cocaine are often portrayed as people who get things done. They seem to possess a supernatural drive once they are under the effects of cocaine, as if the very drug itself is heightening their abilities. While other drugs show the users as passive and slacking-off, cocaine seems to be the perfect workhorse drug. Due to this constant trope, the cliche is that cocaine is a necessity once a character reaches heights of power and success. The message that this sends is that cocaine makes you work better. However, this neglects the reality that many people in the world are out of work and broke because of their cocaine addiction, and this message isn’t helping.