Oh the glamorous life of a young pop star. One minute Justin Bieber is riding around in his white Ferrari, the next a picture of him apparently smoking marijuana is all over the internet. Bieber fans couldn’t believe what they were seeing. The social media website Twitter went particularly crazy as Bieber fans sent out tweets at a record pace. The most popular and controversial hashtag was #cutforbieber. It began as a prank but quickly escalated to the national spotlight. Basically Bieber fans and pranksters alike began posting self-harm pictures on Twitter with the aforementioned hashtag and stating that they would continue the self-harm until Bieber swore off pot. The trend received so much attention that it ended up in the national news. The biggest issue is that Bieber’s primary fan base is teenagers who are the most at risk for both marijuana use and self-harm. Teen pot use is as prevalent now as any point in the last few decades and the fact that many states have started decriminalizing and even legalizing marijuana is a big influence on kids.
A lot of teenagers experiment with marijuana during their high school and college years. What they don’t realize is that stage of life is when the brain goes through the most development. Prolonged marijuana exposure on the adolescent brain causes significant impairment to memory, intelligence, and learning ability. Teens use the drug for many reasons despite these harmful effects. Many enjoy the sensation of being high, while others are driven to use simply because they enjoy doing things they aren’t supposed to do. As anyone with a teenager can tell you, teens rarely like doing what they’re told.
One major influence on teens using drugs and alcohol is from peer pressure and when they see famous people like Justin Bieber using them. Teens think that emulating the actions of the stars means that they’ll be cool and successful as well. Stars like Justin Bieber should understand that the things they do can have an effect on a lot of people. Sometimes the effect is positive, but in the case of the pot photos, it was most definitely negative.
The problem is that substance abuse is a major issue in our society and stars like Justin Bieber are not helping at all. Lives are ruined by drugs and alcohol and it’s important we teach our children of the dangers these substances possess. If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance abuse issue, please contact the Christian Detox Helpline in Vernon Hills, IL and talk to real drug and alcohol addiction counselors who have experience in addiction treatment.