This is just my piece/thoughts on why we romanticize drugs in American youth culture (just so y’all know, I’m in my early 20s). I’ve never had a drug addiction, but I would be lying if I haven’t said that I haven’t had the passing thought roll through my head of being on some kind of super-powerful pain killer and basically ‘drift’ through my life (think super morphine) because of the pain my joints give me.
So I think the reason why so many people are curious about “doing drugs” is simply because of the gross romanticization (gross as in large) we see on TV, music videos, movies, etc. Not to mention, we are STILL in one of the worst economic situations where people are effectively forced into lucrative activities in able to just pay their bills. The kids who are growing up, who were born in the 1990s and early 2000s are really struggling to make ends meet, often being forced to live with parents and/or really unpleasant living situation. We romanticize about the numbing drugs to escape our reality of “oh fuck, I don’t think I can pay rent this month”. We romanticize the drugs that make our hearts beat 100+ times a minute (which if you don’t know, is very fast, average heart rate is 60–90 beats per minute) because we want to run away and escape from “Do I have enough money in my account to even eat today?”
It’s a depressing reality, but I think it’s one reason why American youth has the attitude about drugs, the way it does. Yeah, we have bills and everything put in place to limit a lot of smoking, drug use, etc. seen in films, shows, and all that jazz, but what they do get away with in it? Holy, freaking, shit. Not to mention, since many drugs are illegal, the black market makes it extremely profitable (and demonizing addiction instead of treating it like a medical issue, rather they criminalize it) for people who have nowhere else to turn (because no one wants to hire someone with little to no job experience, despite how no one will give them a job to begin with because of the lack of job experience).