By now the story of teen singer Justin Bieber’s arrest in Miami for drag-racing and driving under the influence of booze and drugs has gone viral many times over.
It’s also alleged that Bieber claims to have been given Xanax – a prescription drug used to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorders – by a friend.
While much of the online coverage is divided into either support for the baggy-panted teenage idol, or jokes at his expense, speeding and drunk driving are no joke back home in South Africa. By the end of the holiday season South Africa was looking at a death tally of 1 376 people – many of these accidents involving alcohol and speed.
Another question raised by Bieber’s latest headlines is the abuse of prescription medications. These drugs are scheduled because they come with serious side-effects, or may be highly addictive or dangerous if used without medical direction.
All of this said, it’s easy to forget that Bieber is only 19, so let’s hope that the next time he makes headlines, it’s for positive reasons.