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article imageHow are drugs portrayed in prime time?

By Tim O'Brien     Apr 19, 2012 in Entertainment
This War on Drugs is fought in prime time every night. Now, The Norman Lear Center has released some information about that war.
Along with the Princeton Survey Research Associates International, the survey studied 49 prime time shows. They looked at the subject of "The War on Drugs" and " The War on Terror" and then focused on these shows which air in 2010.
1. "24"
2. "CSI"
3. "CSI: Miami"
4. "The Good Wife"
5. "House"
6. "Law & Order"
7. "Law & Order: Los Angeles"
8. "Law & Order: SVU"
9. "NCIS"
10. "NCIS: Los Angeles"
The survey does not indicate but it should be noted and perhaps updated, that "24," "Law and Order" and "Law and Order: Los Angeles" are no longer on the air. Meanwhile, this is the final season for "House." But, in all of television, cable, basic, network, etc., "NCIS" is the number one drama and the highest rated show. It has also beaten "Dancing With the Stars" and "American Idol" a few times in the weekly ratings. In fact, last week (April 9-15) it was the No. 1 show.
The aim of this study, regardless of the item above, was to analyze how terror or drug-related plots were portrayed rather than to assess how frequently these plots appeared.
They released a list of four items they deemed major findings. they are:
1. In TV storylines about the War on Drugs, drug users are not arrested and drug suspects are often portrayed as morally ambiguous or even heroic.
2. In these TV shows, 65% of drug suspects are white, accurately reflecting that the vast majority of drug users (and likely offenders) in the U.S. are white.
3. Despite the predominance of African-Americans and other minorities in U.S. prisons for drug violations, most drug manufacturers and dealers in the series studied were white.
4. Prescription drug abuse and methamphetamines were depicted three times more often than recreational marijuana.
As for this study being released right before 4/20 can be left for others to digest.
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