Illumination Rounds Essay

In Smoke Drug use Is often viewed as a way to create or enhance an activity, but some drugs are commonly used for other reasons. In “Illumination Rounds” by Michael Herr, Herr documents his experiences during the Vietnam War. He writes about the wide use of marijuana to help soldiers, and even journalists, cope with the stress that comes from being in a war. The use of marijuana to relieve stress is still prevalent in today’s society, both in popular culture and real life. Many artists such as Bob Marble, Asher Roth and 8. . 8. Openly express their affection for marijuana and the short term lease of stress smoking marijuana gives them. Researchers are finding that not only Is the use of marijuana to relieve stress seen In Vietnam and popular culture today, but it is also a problem among a rising number of youth throughout the united States, and even beyond. “Illumination Rounds” was published in 1969 and was a firsthand account by Michael Herr about his time covering the war in Vietnam. The essay is made up of a collection experiences.

These vignettes often are about the stress and hardships of being In a war on the other side of the world, fighting for someone else’s freedoms. Of the ways Herr writes that soldiers dealt with the stress of war, drugs was the most prevalent. The primary drug written about is “grass” or marijuana. There are multiple accounts of Herr smoking marijuana with soldiers. In one account he goes to a soldier’s house off base and they smoke marijuana before some friends come over, then smoke more once the friends show up. A second time is when he Is waiting for a helicopter to depart for where he needs to go.

He waits with a soldier who is trying to get on a helicopter to a different location, but while they wait together they smoke a “joint” and share stories. In popular culture there are many references to the use of marijuana to relieve stress and escape the troubles of life. In a song entitled “Cloud 9” by Bobby Ray Simmons, or known by his stage name as B. O. B. , he talks about this very use of marijuana. 8. 08. Opens the song by saying, I am walking along a very cold road and Wherever It ends and where It begins I do not know But I’ve noticed that He keeps rolling’ that It’ll take you anywhere no matter where you’re going’ (B. . B. “Cloud 9”) In this excerpt B. O. B. Is referencing the long path he is on to try to sign with a record label. He says he does not know where his Journey begins or ends, but rolling up a joint takes him away from the long path to wherever he wants to be. Because It Is taking him away from his struggles to get signed, he says he “keeps rolling’ that” to escape. The use of marijuana to escape the hardships is brought up again later in the first verse of the song when he says, It mint goanna be no pain I’m about to let it go. Goodbye, I’ll be gone for a while I’m on cloud 9. (B. . B. “Cloud 9”) This Is a direct reference to letting the pain of his past denials and stresses of a marijuana induced high. Both the soldiers and B. O. B. Use marijuana to escape the pain and stress of life. Due to the fact that the high only lasts a limited time, they continually smoke more marijuana to escape. Both B. O. B. And the soldiers in Vietnam have to deal with a struggle to cope with the growing pains of having to mature quickly and the stress of being on a Journey that the ending is nowhere in sight. The types of pain as well as the levels of stress endured by B. . B. And soldiers in Vietnam may not be comparable, but the method to deal with their hardships is the same, smoking marijuana. The use of party drugs, such as marijuana, is more common than previously thought. The use of these drugs to mask the stresses of life is at an all time high, and continually on the rise. The alarming rise in abuse of party drugs was a main topic at the Cesar E. Shave Behavioral Health Conference earlier in March. The conference was discussed in an article entitled “Expert: Teens use party drugs to deal with stress,” written for The Arizona Republic.

Karol Jumpier, a researcher and substance abuse treatment expert from the University of Utah, explained this problem during he conference when she said, “In the last two or three years, we’ve had a significant surge in alcohol, ecstasy, prescription drugs and marijuana use among teens. And you notice that those are all the party drugs. ” (“Expert: Teens use party drugs to deal with stress”). The article goes on to explain that she believes this rise in the use of these drugs is due to the economic stresses and a lack of time parents spend with their children.

She said that “parents have spent about one-third less time with their kids over the past three years, an average of 4. 2 hours per week” (“Expert: Teens use arty drugs to deal with stress”). The lack of time spent with parents around raises the amount of independence required of kids who shouldn’t have to be on their own. Being alone and having to do homework without someone to help or having to make yourself a meal can be very stressful for someone too young to have such independence. Kids turning to party drugs is very similar to the soldiers in Vietnam who used many of the same drugs.

Both were, for the most part, young and overwhelmed by responsibility and their surroundings. The soldiers were fighting a war, which many f them were drafted into as opposed to signing up, that was horrific beyond imagination at an age where many should have still been in school. They were all forced to grow up quickly or risk death from not being prepared for life. Kids who don’t have their parents around face the same issue as the soldiers, they have to grow up too quickly. The stress of having to be mature and responsible beyond your years is what has driven a rising number of youth to turn to drugs, such as marijuana, to cover the stress.

Marijuana use is becoming more prevalent in society and culture in today’s life, such like it was during the Vietnam War. The use of marijuana to help alleviate stress was documented by Michael Herr in “Illumination Rounds” and by B. O. B. In his song “Cloud 9”. Researchers and experts are documenting a sharp and continuing increase in the use of drugs like marijuana to deal with stress. Due to the rising number of households with all present parents work, there is little that can be done to help curtail the rising number of teens turning to drugs. Better and more readily and out of danger.

Educating the youth on the negative effects drugs can have on the odd is another way to prevent kids from turning to drugs as a stress reliever. The biggest impact, however, can be made if entertainers and people kids look up to do not glorify the use of drugs. In Hip-Hop, the most prevalent music among inner-city neighborhoods with at risk youth, the use of drugs is promoted and talked about as if it is a normal and acceptable way to deal with stress. If a culture could be created where the people kids look up to do not promote drugs, the next generation may be able to avoid the feeling that drugs are the only way to deal with stress.


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