The Basketball Diaries Essay Topics

The Basketball Diaries Essay

1018 WordsFeb 18th, 20135 Pages

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…show more content…

He shoots up his first time, while most user progress from snorting to popping and then to using needles. Many heroin users report feeling a “rush” when shooting up heroin.While a scene of Jim running through a field plays, he describes, “It was like a long heat wave through my body, any ache and pain or feeling of sadness was completely flushed out.” This “rush” is causes by the rapid entry of heroin into the brain and the attachment of 6-acetyl-morphine and morphine to opioid receptors. It usually last one or two minutes right after administration. The euphoric effect is caused by the reduction of GABA neurons, which ultimately increases the amount of dopamine produced. Jimmy also compares it to one of the most intense orgasms he has ever had. Recent imaging studies have found that the areas the brain most active during ejaculation are also most active following heroin injection. After his first time using Jim describes,“I felt dazed, like I just came out of a four hour movie I did not understand.” Many people who take opiates experience a subjective sense of mental dullness and often report feeling dreamy or spacey The movie does a legitimate job describing and interpreting the “rush” phenomenon and the after effects of first time use. Many heroin users have an extremely hard time quitting for long periods of time. This is due to both

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Escape

From a very early age, Carroll tries to escape his tough existence on the streets of New York by pursuing other activities that bring him enjoyment. At thirteen, he begins playing basketball in the Biddy league, his first organized league. Give that he has natural athletic ability, basketball quickly becomes a lifestyle for him, which leads to minor fame and a basketball scholarship to a rich, private school. However, in the process, he also engages in self-destructive activities, such as stealing, drinking, and doing drugs. On one occasion, Carroll and some of his teammates take pills that they think will improve their performance, but the pills do the opposite. Says Carroll: "My legs began to get the feeling someone slit a nice little hole at the top of my thighs and poured in a few gallons of liquid lead." Carroll and his fellow drug-using teammates get kicked out...

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