Addiction, stigma and movies

  • Cape G
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Abstract

Objective: To identify common character stereotypes of alcohol and other drug users as portrayed in motion pictures.Method: A selective review of a number of movies prominently portraying alcohol and other drug use and misuse.Results: The great majority of popular films portray alcohol and drug use whether as a routinized background, routinized foreground or exceptional foreground. Four main stereotypes of alcohol and other drug users appear to be prevalent – the tragic hero, the demonized user, the rebellious free spirit and the comedic user. A number of movies are selected which portray alcohol and other drug use as a prominent theme.Conclusion: Movies, as a medium for mass communication, have a powerful influence on the public and perpetuate popular mythologies regarding alcohol and other drug use.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Motion pictures
  • Stereotyping
  • Substance related disorders

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Authors

  • G. S. Cape

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