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MUSIC ABUSE

The Univ. of Pittsburgh School of Medicine analyzed the lyrics of the top 279 songs of 2005. Nearly 80% of rap songs contained references to illicit drugs, alcohol or tobacco, followed by country (37%), R&B (20%), rock (14%) and pop (9%). When combined, 42% of all songs had some reference to substance abuse. Over 60% were positive portrayals of the substances by associating them with sex, partying and/or humor. Just four mentioned any kind of anti-substance abuse message. Researchers calculate Americans age 15 to 18 listen to music 2.4 hours each day, or 84 references to substance abuse daily and about 30,000 annually.

(Source: Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, 2/8)

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