The Basketball Diaries Essay

Words: 1006
Pages: 5

Lizzie Janes
Drugs and Behavior

Within Hollywood’s movies depiction of drug addiction, many have failed to represent all true aspects that come along with such lifestyles. The movie, The Basketball Diaries, is based off a novel Jim Carroll wrote from his own diary entries. As a teenager growing up in the sixties, Carroll reveals his progression of drug abuse which eventually leads him addicted to heroin.Heroin is a white powder derived from morphine found in opium. It is commonly prescribed as a painkiller, but is also a popular street drug.The director casted Leonardo DiCaprio as Jimmy, and concentrates on creating the character as a stereotypical drug abuser. DiCaprio’s most captivating scene is when he is going through heroin
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This is shown when Jim starts scrambling to find his drugs and attacks his friend who has the heroin.As the effects of withdrawals take hold, Jim is constantly shivering. The chills are very common and occur even though the bodies temperature is rising. Overproduction of body fluids also takes place. This can be seen through Jims extremely runny nose and excessive sweating.This initial withdrawal is characterized by the body attempting to regain homeostasis as a result of the brain's lack of opiate receptor activity. This scene portrays the severe emotional and physical aspects of heroin withdrawal. After becoming sober, a scene shows Jimmy turning down heroin from a friend without thinking twice. This does not match up with the reports that cravings last way after abstinence due to the development of a Pavlovian conditioned drive state. Such cravings are triggered anytime the person is in a situation previously associated with the drug experience. While physical dependence is portrayed correctly, the director failed to capture the psychological dependence of the typical heroin abuser. The Basketball Diaries, has both realistic and unrealistic representations of heroin abuse throughout the