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J Subst Abuse Treat. 1986;3(4):243-9.

Adolescents discuss themselves and drugs through music.


This paper discusses a technique which uses rock music lyrics to enable adolescents to gain an understanding of dependency upon mood-altering substances. While the pervasiveness of alcohol and other drugs in society is well-known, it is surprising and instructive for adolescents to explore the close inter-relationship between drugs, rock lyrics, and their own behavior. Drug-related songs were chosen, recorded and the lyrics were transcribed. A chart, illustrating the progression of addiction, was used to demonstrate how themes in drug-related songs parallel the stages of addiction. Adolescents hear, read, and discuss the lyrics in relationship to the stages, and in the process, increase their personal understanding of drug issues such as the search for relief, increased dependence, loss of control, and physical deterioration, all stages on the addiction chart. Through guided discussion of the lyrics and issues, adolescents begin to consider alternative ways of coping with daily pressures other than withdrawal from society or aggression toward it, two types of behavior seen with increasing frequency among today's youth.

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