What Is One Life To Live Really Up To?
I don't think any of this is entirely coincidental. Head writer Ron Carlivati and his team have become experts at juxtaposition. Dialogue cues segue one scene to the another. The direction and editing provide us with visual yin and yang, compare and contrast. Where The Young and the Restless continues it's long tradition of dramatic ambiguity, OLTL has perfected something I call dramatic clarity. In other words (and if the viewer does not have benefit of spoilers) with Y&R the fans are never 100% sure where anything is going until it happens, while with Carlivati's OLTL the viewer almost always knows what's going on as it happens without benefit of knowing exactly where things will end up. The ironic upshot is that OLTL's more plot-centric approach gives it more leeway to play with subtext, or rather the thing beneath the thing being discussed.
Therefore, the text of the drug story is exactly as it appears: the teens at Llanview High are becoming embroiled in a drug story involving new teacher Schulyer (Scott Clifton). The subtext of the story however is the hypocrisy of the adults in Llanview and, perhaps, a subtle critique of recent soap opera conventions in general and, possibly, society at large. The teens on OLTL have not calling been out the adults in their lives and their behavior for nothing.
Think about soaps over the last 3-5 years. Very few characters smoke, except the occasional villain like Guiding Light's cigar chomping Alan Spaulding (Ron Raines). There are no casual recreational drug users. There isn't one regular prescription abuser in all of daytime and All My Children's Krystal (Bobbie Eakes) doesn't count. Compare that to some of the people who are drinking to and past excess on OLTL: the police commissioner (Bo), the district attorney (Nora), and the soon-to-be ex-head of a major corporation (Clint). Yes, they may have understandable reasons as individuals for the kinds of drinking they are doing, but the fact remains that these people are in one way or another supposedly respected authority figures in their community. What we are left with is a very high percentage of characters who, if they drank as much in real life as they do on soaps, would be classified as functional alcoholics. They drink in the middle of the day. They drink after confrontations with their enemies or wayward family members. They drink when it's partly cloudy. They drink just because they walk in a room.