Study Guide

Requiem for a Dream Drugs and Alcohol

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Drugs and Alcohol

TY: S***, man. This is some boss scag, baby. I mean, dynamite.

HARRY: Oh, man, it's something else.

TY: You know what we need to do? We need to get us a piece of this Brody s***, cut it up, and off it!

HARRY: We could double our money easy.

TY: Then we could buy us a couple of pieces and we got some whole other s*** goin' on. That'd be righteous.

HARRY: I'll bet in no time at all we could get a pound of pure straight from Sal the Geep.

TY: That's what I'm talking about, baby. No hassles.

"No hassles." Hahahaha. Yeah right, Ty. "Hassles" is an understatement about what happens in this film's third act. If only its characters could solve this equation—Drugs + Desperation = Deep doo-doo—they wouldn't have the "hassles."

HARRY: Wait, Ty. Look. This is our chance to make it big. We play it right, and we can get a pound of pure. But if we get wasted, we'll f*** it up.

Harry shows a surprising bit of restraint here, willing to not use in order to save the product for money. That's good business sense. But like anyone with an open tub of Ben and Jerry's in front of them, Harry ends up dipping in, and eventually cannot control his appetite.

SARA: Purple in the morning. Blue in the afternoon. Orange in the evening. There's my three meals, Mr. Smarty-Pants. And green at night. Just like. One, two, three, four.

People who are addicts think that what they're addicted to is a shortcut to happiness. Instead of eating healthy and exercising, Sara tries a crash diet, and, failing that, tries diet pills. They're colored like candy, but eating Smarties as a diet would be a smarter choice than relying on these pills.

HARRY: Hey, Ma. You on uppers? […] Does the stuff makes you feel good, sorta, and give you lots of pep?

SARA: Well, yeah, a little.

HARRY: A little? I can hear you grinding your teeth from here.

SARA: That goes away at night!

HARRY: At night?

SARA: Yeah, when I take the green one. Thirty minutes, I'm asleep. Poof, just like that.

As a drug addict himself, Harry recognizes that his mother's on something. If Sara's friends ever try and stop her dangerous pill habit, we don't see it. Either they don't care, or they don't know how dangerous it is because they are not used to the symptoms of addiction. Or option C: their hearing aids are turned down and they can't hear the grinding.

HARRY: Ma. Ma. You gotta cut that stuff loose. I'm telling you, it's no good.

SARA: What do you mean it's no good? Twenty-five pounds I've lost.

HARRY: Big deal. So what? You want to be a dope fiend, for chrissake?

SARA: What is with the dope fiend? Am I foaming at the mouth or something?

Sara doesn't consider herself an addict or a drug user because her drugs were prescribed to her, not bought off the street. But her addiction is just as dangerous. Addiction comes in many forms – street drugs, prescription medication, peanut M&Ms.

SARA: How come you know so much, huh? How come you know more about medicine than a doctor?

HARRY: Believe me, Ma. I know. All right? You'll get strung out, for Chrissake.

Harry does care about his mother, and he tries to show this by turning her away from the drugs. But another thing he knows is that a habit like this is hard to break.

HARRY: Was I supposed to watch you push off and not go myself? Don't put it all on me, okay?

Recreational drugs are so called because they're often done in groups. Harry demonstrates how difficult it is to refrain from using when you are around people who use. See the line from before where he doesn't want to use, but Ty convinces him to. Harry's friends are enablers.

PRISON GUARD: He won't be puttin' any more dope in that.

Prison guards aren't exactly known for being compassionate, but the guards in this movie take it to another level. Even after seeing Harry's arm about to rot off, they make a joke about it and display zero sympathy.

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