The movie selected for assessing the harms of drug and substance abuse is based on a famous musician Ray Charles. Ray Charles was an African American musician who brought about a change in the world of music by incorporating different genres together into one (“The Ray Charles Memorial Library :: Biography”, 2018). The movie “Ray” is exceptional in its plot and covers most of Ray Charles life, including his early years till his rise to fame after being recognized as a talented pianist. The main focus of the movie lies in Ray’s struggle towards fame and the numerous factors that try to bring him down such as the drug addiction that gets the best of him (“Ray Charles background and biography”, 2018). The movie is accurate in its depiction as it involves all the events that took place in Ray’s life. Most of Ray’s childhood is covered in flashbacks which are shown in different parts throughout the movie. The first incident that becomes the main cause of suffering for Ray is the death of his younger brother. Ray blames himself for not having done anything to save him and this guilt keeps surfacing at every step of the way. Ray’s sight completely disappears at the age of seven, however, his mother trained him from the moment his vision first got blurry.
Ray goes against all odds and succeeds in gaining fame from the first moment he steps onto the stage. Despite facing racial discrimination, Ray still works with the white people and defies the stereotypes. However, with fame comes a life of vice and Ray involves himself in drugs (“Ray Charles | About Ray Charles | American Masters | PBS”, 2018). Ray’s addiction to drug abuse highlights the influence of social and cultural factors that can be a cause of chronic stress. In the case of Ray, he did not face the harshness of the world on the basis of being blind but also because of his skin color. The time during which Ray was trying to make his name into the society, the divide between whites and blacks was at its peak. The movie shows that Ray’s reliance on drugs helps him to go into a state of trance where he is able to remember his childhood and the painful days that led him to be blind. This movie is quite influential as it shows the various factors that drive one person towards drug abuse. Ray’s drug addiction puts his family and his career at risk. Considering how Ray is affected by drugs, it should be noted that drugs like heroin make it difficult for an individual to think straight and to act rationally. Ray is caught multiple times for carrying heroin around with him wherever he goes.
In addition to this, the movie depicts the usage of drugs and alcohol in a negative sense as it can be seen that one of Ray’s friend dies from overdosage of heroin. Yet, Ray still continues to use it till he is caught a second time for carrying drugs on the plane. Ray hides from people and this act affects his music career, but with the help of his wife, Ray finally joins a rehabilitation center. The treatment that Ray gets at the hospital shows that getting drugs out of one’s system after being completely dependent on a drug can be extremely difficult as the body becomes accustomed to the substances in the drugs. The movie is influential as it teaches teenagers the harms of involving oneself in wrong groups that influence you towards acquiring a way of life which is considered morally wrong as can be seen from the life of Ray. However, family plays an important role as it provides support and the courage to overcome any hurdle.
Ray Charles | About Ray Charles | American Masters | PBS. (2018). American Masters. Retrieved 23 March 2018, from http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/ray-charles-about-ray-charles/554/
Ray Charles background and biography. (2018). Emol.org. Retrieved 23 March 2018, from http://www.emol.org/film/archives/ray/knowingray.html
The Ray Charles Memorial Library:: Biography. (2018). Theraycharlesmemoriallibrary.org. Retrieved 23 March 2018, from http://www.theraycharlesmemoriallibrary.org/RCML_Biography.html