How Addiction is Portrayed in the Media

As one going to school for English and Journalism, I’ve observed a variety of pitfalls within our modern-day media for those who are faced with addiction—and/or ones who are potentially faced with such. For, a wide range of individuals can either interpret media healthfully, or harmfully, as information is portrayed, framed, as well as received in a number of ways. Not only that, but the credibility of sources plays a big role within our society as well, as we live in a time where technology is on the rise, and continuously advancing.

First and foremost, we see information portrayed/framed through various platforms, and social media outlets, such as; books, film, internet, and so on. As a result, individuals who are exposed to such must be careful as to how they receive the information, as well as what information that they take in, since there is an abundance of falsity. In turn, this can cause problems, and oftentimes causes a number of people to share the wrong information, or be desensitized to those who are faced with addiction(s)—as well as their needs—because of how frequently we grow accustomed to that which surrounds us. We believe based on what we hear, see, are told, and/or read, instead of taking the time to make sure that which we are exposed to is truthful. It is then that we begin to find ourselves lacking to engage with others.

That’s why we must take into consideration how certain things are framed because they can be framed in such a way to where they can help addicts, or be framed in such a way as to harm addicts, and put them in a false light, by dehumanizing them. In relation to such, the basis of framing can be explained through frame theory which is “that the media focuses attention on certain events and then places them within a field of meaning”. In turn, this can be beneficial, or pose as a disadvantage by basing the content off of the meaning of one person’s perspective/opinion, rather than in an objective way.

In conclusion, individuals as a whole—whether they are struggling with an addiction or not—must be careful when stimulating themselves with the various forms of media, such as; books, television/film, internet, video games, and so on, because it is through such that the information can be beneficial or harmful for both the individual partaking in it, as well as the rest of the public.

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