Shedding light on today's
teen worry and pessmism


Sustained Increased Consumption of Cigarettes, Alcohol, and Marijuana
Among Manhattan Residents After September 11, 2001

American Journal of Public Health, February 2004, Vol 94, No. 2 * 253-254 RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
Author: David Vlahov, PhD, Sandro Galea, MD, DrPH, Jennifer Ahern, MPH, Heidi Resnick, PhD and Dean Kilpatrick, PhD

We compared reports of increased substance use in Manhattan 1 and 6 months after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Data from 2 random-digit-dial surveys conducted 1 and 6 months after September 11 showed that 30.8% and 27.3% of respondents, respectively, reported increased use of cigarettes, alcohol, or marijuana. These sustained increases in substance use following the September 11 terrorist attacks suggest potential long-term health consequences as a result of disasters.


The quotes below are taken from
Youth Violence - Insights and Solutions
What does the future hold for our children?

by Steve R. Robertson, Los Angeles (310) 871-2965

"Violence is the leading cause of lost life in this country today.  When young people don't have any hope for the future they'll do anything." - Dr.David Satcher, Director of the Centers for Disease Control,  quoted in the New York Times 9/26/93


More people than ever before are seriously depressed, and younger people are hardest hit.  Overall, depression rates have increased and younger adults are getting sick at higher rates than their elders. - Journal of the American Medical Association 11/92


"U.S. World leader in youth homicides.  Ninety percent of youth homicides in the industrial world occur in the United States. The U.S. also had more children living in poverty - 20 percent - than any other industrialized nation, UNICEF says. - Newsday 10/26/93


"In parts of this country, there's a sense of hopelessness and helplessness that leads people not to take care of themselves.  When people have very little self-esteem, they place themselves in harm's way." 
- Ron Anderson, M.D. Chairman of the Board of the Texas Department of Health and Chief Executive Officer of Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas


"As a physician, I'm dealing with people (teenagers) who are incredibly resilient physically.  Yet they still see their most positive option as being dead." - Dr. Barbara Staggers, quoted in the Dec. 9, 1993 issue of Rolling Stones magazine titled, "If the symptoms are rapid increases in teen deaths from murder, suicide and car crashes, alcohol and drugs...The Disease Is Adolescence."


"People who feel depressed, disempowered, and isolated, and who don't like their lives… often use alcohol, cigarettes, overeating, and overwork to cope with or spilt off these painful feelings.  So unless we address the underlying emotional pain, isolation, and unhappiness that so many people carry around, it's very hard to motivate them to quite smoking or modify other behaviors, which are adaptive in the short run even though self-destructive in the long run." Dean Ornish, M.D., is Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine and President and Director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute at the School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco


"We literally have an epidemic of violence now. The number of young teenagers involved in violence is new.  They've never learned how to argue and resolve conflict. Instead they go straight for a weapon."- Ellen H. Taliaferro, M.D., Emergency Physician at San Francisco General Hospital, as quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle 9/26/93


[Violence] is the nation's 12th leading cause of death and the No. 1 cause of death and disability for people age 15 to 34.  Young black men are more likely to be murdered than to die of any other cause.  An estimated 4,000,000 women are raped each year and 1,500,000 children are abused each year. - Statistics from the Center for Disease Control, as quoted in the Los Angeles Times 10/3/93


A key Finding by the California Task Force to Promote Self-esteem and Personal and Social Responsibility: “When young people fail to find acceptance and affirmation, a sense of belonging, and a significant part in decision making, many of them seek those human necessities in gangs.”


In one of the largest longitudinal studies of violent youth, scientist followed about 4,000 youngsters in Denver, Pittsburgh and Rochester, N.Y., for 5 years.  By the age of 16, more than half admitted to some form of violent criminal behavior, says Terence P. Thornberry, the principal investigator in Rochester and a psychologist at the State University of New York in Albany. "Violence among teenagers is almost normative in our society, ... Prevention programs need to start very early (maybe before elementary school) ...Waiting until the teenage years is too late." says Thornberry. "Some social scientists argue that teenage aggression is natural... But other researchers who have studied today's violent teens say they are a new and dangerous breed...”



At a recent congressional hearing on the rising firearm deaths among U.S. Teenagers child advocates cited a range of causes:  "…the easy accessibility of guns, increasing drug traffic, glorification of violence in the media and the breakdown of the family." - as reported in the Washington Post.


"Heavy metal is music of choice for teens at risk. There clearly is an association between embracing heavy metal (music) and risky behavior (smoking marijuana, cheating, stealing, drinking, alcohol and having sex.)" - the results of Dr. Jonathan Klein's research which surveyed 2,760 adolescents 14 to 16 years old; as published in the July 12, 1993 issue of USA TODAY.


"Nirvana's second album, In Utero (in the womb), which features the song "I Hate Myself and Want to Die") has sold over 9,000,000 copies worldwide… Guitarist/vocalist Kurt Cobain commented, ‘We intentionally made an aggressive record. ...The guitar players I'm fond of are like from Scratch Acid and the first White Zombie EP, ...with mumbled lyrics transcribed in their entirety in the liner notes as, 'F**k  S**t Piss' ”  Request Mag 11/93


"She begged me not to kill her, I gave her a rose.  Then I slit her throat, watched her shake till her eyes closed.  Had sex with the corpse before I left her.  And drew my name on wall like Helter Skelter." - lyrics from the Geto Boy's album entitled 'Mind of a Lunatic' which sold over 500,000 copies, as reported on April 1, 1991 in Newsweek's cover article entitled 'Violence goes Mainstream - Are There Any Limits Left?'


“At the same time, because we are being so inundated with violent images both artful and manipulative - its almost impossible to resist growing numb.  We run the risk of becoming insensitive to the horror of suffering..." - as reported on April 1, 1991 in Newsweek's cover article entitled 'Violence goes Mainstream - Are There Any Limits Left?'


"The Violence in Our Heads.  The culture of aggression shows up in our speech, our play and our entertainment.  It's better than hip, it's commercial.  The constant repetition of violence desensitizes us in much the same way a therapist desensitizes a phobia patient."
- Dan Gelman, from his August 2, 1993 article in NEWSWEEK.



Is There A Relationship Between
Music and Violence?


According to the December 11, 1993 Billboard 200 chart the #1 album (selling over 800,000 units in the first week)  was "Doggy Style" a rap album (released by Death Row/Interscope records) by Snoop Doggy Dogg who was recently indicted for murder. 


Guns N' Roses (Axl Rose's) album "The Spaghetti Incident" featured the song written by the mass murderer Charles Manson, and came out as No. 4 on the Billboard 200 charts.  And, coming in at the No. 5 album on the Billboard 200 chart was "The Bevis and ButtHead Experience" which featured Nirvana's song, "I Hate Myself and Want to Die," White Zomie's song "I Am Hell," Anthrax's song, "Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun," and Megadeath's song "99 Ways to Die."


On the cover of the August 3, 1991 Billboard Magazine, a large advertisement reads "KEEP MUSIC EVIL."


"My basic motivation is that I hate everything" (according to Rob Zombie, lead singer for White Zombie).  Rob Zombie's new side project is designing cannibal trading cards for the same gleefully depraved company that has already given us serial-killer cards." White Zombie's album entitled "Make Them Die Slowly" helped to bring the group's overall record sales to over 300,000 units. - Rolling Stone magazine, December 9, 1993.


..."Ten years ago I started noticing how teens were moved to violence by rock concerts." Jack Canfield, a Guru of Self-Esteem, June 11, 1992 correspondence to Steve Robertson.


"The Violence in Our Heads.  The culture of aggression shows up in our speech, our play and our entertainment.  It's better than hip, it's commercial.  The constant repetition of violence desensitizes us in much the same way a therapist desensitizes a phobia patient."
- Dan Gelman, from his August 2, 1993 article in NEWSWEEK.


"DISMEMBER, Indecent and obscene. (Hideous, frightful and repulsive to the senses...U.K. Customs Officials).  Murderously crushing sonic decapitation from Sweden's best death metal band!  Available at fine record stores everywhere." - Advertisement in the November 93 issue of Screamer magazine (available in Safeway supermarkets)


"You can tell the people who want to stop us from releasing controversial rap music one thing: Kiss my ass." - quote from Ted Field who heads up Death Row/Interscope, which is part owned by Time Warner. - NEWSWEEK ,November 29, 1993.


"Today we have many kinds of music for entertainment.  Some of it is too violent and excites people to be violent and to make war.  I think composers and musicians have to learn responsibility, because the music's power is incredible."  - World Music instrumental composer KITARO


"Although punk rock never disappeared, it did spawn variations including hard-core, speed metal, noise pop and grunge rock, that have continued to inspire the hysteria of the mosh pit.  Many musicians play to the pit ....Inside the pits however, everyone is pressed together in a sweaty, violent blob that surges to the beat of the music.  Elbows are thrown, feet are stomped, flesh is sometimes bloodied and clothing is torn.  Under the circumstances, T-shirts, jeans and Dr. Martens are recommended apparel.  The mosh pit began with punk rock, known for its ear-splitting noises, aggressive tempos, righteous indignation and sheer loathing of self and others. ...Metal fans appropriated the pit and turned it into a free-for-all, an excuse for a fight." -  as reported in the October 28, 1993 San Francisco Chronicle entitled 'The Mosh Pit."

Marilyn Manson Lyrics