heroin chic

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that nearly 1 million Americans used heroin in 2016.

Heroin is an extremely dangerous and highly addictive drug. The road to recovery is long and difficult.

Despite national drug overdose deaths being on the rise, pop culture continues to romanticize heroin use. 

One of the biggest examples was the “Heroin Chic” movement in the fashion industry. Keep reading to learn about 9 times pop-culture has glamorized heroin addiction.

1. ’90s Gucci Ads

The term “Heroin Chic” was coined by the fashion industry in the ’90s. The heroin chic movement was seen as an act of rebellion to the previous modeling era. 

The heroin chic movement included alarmingly skinny models with dark sunken eyes, messy hair, and pale skin. 

In 1997, Gucci released a magazine ad that featured collapsed male models who appeared to be on drugs or overdosed.  

2. The Rolling Stones

The iconic band’s songs like Dead Flowers and Sister Morphine are just a few of their songs that highlight their drug abuse.

An example from Dead Flowers reads, “I’ll be in my basement room with a needle and a spoon.”

3. Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction, starring Samuel Jackson and John Travolta, also features heroin use. 

Mia, played by Uma Thurman, accidentally overdoses on heroin because she thought she was snorting cocaine. Luckily, she is quickly revived by an adrenaline shot straight to the heart. 

4. John Lennon

John Lennon, a member of The Beatles, was an avid heroin user. 

His drug usage found its ways into songs like Happiness is a Warm Gun (I need a fix ’cause I’m going down) and Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey (The deeper you go the higher you’ll fly.) 

5. Calvin Klein’s Heroin Chic

Calvin Klein was one of the leaders of the “heroin chic” movement. 

Many of their campaigns featured models like Kate Moss who embodied the grungy, heroin chic appearance.

6. Trainspotting

The famous ’90s movie highlights the Edinburgh drug scene. In one of the more popular lines from the movie, Renton asks, “Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”

7. Gia

The famous movie Gia, featuring Angelina Jolie, tells the story of the famous supermodel Gia Carangi. The ’70s model had an intense heroin addiction through the rise and fall of her modeling career. 

8. Codein Crazy

The song written by the rapper Future, features a liquid form of heroin called “Lean,” in the music video. 

Many famous rappers can be seen sipping out of white cups in their music videos, which are usually filled with the heroin syrup, lean. 

9. Seinfeld

On a lighter note, the famous ’90s sitcom Seinfeld pokes fun at the heroin chic movement. 

In the scene, Jerry asks Elaine about her new poof hairdo and she replies, “It’s the new look. You know, heroin chic?”

The Cold Hard Truth

Although pop-culture continues to glamorize drug use, the reality is that drugs have destroyed millions of people’s lives. Each year, addiction rates and drug-related deaths go up.

If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction, click to learn more about important facts all heroin addicts should know. 

Not So Heroin Chic

Although glamorized, many of these same movies, fashion ads, and artists also highlighted the destructive effects of the “heroin chic” trend.

What seemingly starts as fun, ultimately leads to a long road of pain and recovery. 

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