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Requiem For A Dream Essay

1599 words - 6 pages

The government and higher authorities, being so concerned with the elimination of drug addictions, substance abuse, and substance dependence, should simply require the youth of America to watch Requiem For a Dream. It is almost certain that the film would aid with the recovery from any addiction. The movie's graphic display of different types of drug abuse, dependence, and other forms of addictions sets it apart from any other. Though many may not be able to relate to the film in that they have experienced the same conditions, the movie seems to depict these types of situations more realistically than any other attempt that has been made. From infomercials, to "diet pills", to psychoactive drugs, addictions run rampant throughout the film. There are two major classifications found under addictions; substance dependence and substance abuse. Substance dependence is both physiological and psychological and has a long list symptoms from which a patient must have three or more to be diagnosed as dependent. The list includes; tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, ingestion of larger amounts or over longer period than was intended, persistent desire to stop with unsuccessful attempts, heavy engagement in activities to get substance, use it, or recover from its effects, elimination of social, recreational, or occupational activities, and continued use even with known physical harms caused by drugs. Substance abuse is marked by maladaptive psychological behavior. The criteria for substance abuse is not quite as long, but a person must still have at least three symptoms to be classified as abusing a substance. The list of criteria includes; recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill important obligations, recurrent use in times when physically hazardous to do so, recurrent legal problems (due to the substances), and continued substance use in social life caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance. The four main characters in the film all show definite signs of substance dependence along with abuse. Sara Goldfarb, a widowed mother of one, shows signs of addiction from the very beginning. Sara is undoubtedly addicted to infomercials. She sits at the television set for hours upon hours watching the same "juice" infomercial daily. When her son steals the television to pawn it for drug money, she simply walks down to the market and buys it back. That television is her life, it is almost as if living is dependent on watching that set. Sara shows substance dependence in the film as well. As Requiem For a Dream progresses, the audience is introduced to a depressed and constantly grieving woman. Her only son steals from her and he is the only person left in her life worth living for... until one day when she receives a telephone call informing her that she has been chosen to appear on television. With this she decides that she needs to lose weight, but when no other diet works, she refers back to the advice of a friend and sees a...

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