So far cocaine has been featured in nearly every movie we’ve watched with the exception of the teen movies, and to be hones when I think of 80’s movies its hard to block out the image of Scarface sitting with face down in a gigantic white pile of powder. So I guess the question is: how rampant was cocaine use in the 80’s?
According to this rehab website, cocaine was the “most popular recreational drug in the 80’s”. The article even claims that cocaine usage was more rampant than alcohol use. That is a pretty hard core claim. The movies of the 1980s certainly seem to portray cocaine as a drug of the beautiful and the rich. What may be more relevant is the massive amount of modern movies that portray the late 70’s and early 80’s as a mecca of cocaine amidst a disco glamor backdrop. Movies like 54 which portrayed the famous nightclub in its heyday and Blow, a hard luck story about a cocaine smuggler portray a decade where drugs were everywhere: at every party, in every nightclub, and in a vial in the pocket of every Hollywood starlet.
One of the best examples of cocaine use amongst Hollywood youth is that of Drew Barrymore darling of the movie E.T who went to rehab at the ripe old age of 14 for cocaine usage and was often reported to be spotted in the popular nightclubs of the 80’s like Studio 54 snorting cocaine and smoking cigarettes.
We see cocaine use in 80’s movies like Wall Street where it is just part of the new world of making money. There are articles like this one where Dennis Quaid claims that cocaine was an expense built into movie budgets.
It seems coke was to the 19080s what pot was to the hippies of sixties and seventies, and nowhere is that better portrayed than in the films and social scene of Hollywood.