An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Good vs. Bad Portrayals of Substance Abuse In Media

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by sonia11, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. sonia11

    sonia11 Senior Contributor

    What are some good instances of portraying substance abuse you've seen? What are some laughably/infuriatingly bad ones? I think probably the best I've ever seen it done was in Trainspotting and Requiem For A Dream, but there are of course many others. On the other side of the coin, there's that "classic" Saved By The Bell" episode in which a character got addicted to pills, freaked out about it, and was cured all in the same episode, and it never was mentioned again.
  2. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I thought Trainspotting was done pretty well too. I was only 18 when it first came out and to be honest, it was the best thing I could have seen as heroin use was pretty prevalet in my area at the time. This film really put me off trying the stuff.

    The absolute worst depiction of substance abuse I ever saw was on a UK soap opera called "Eastenders". One of the characters, Phil became a raging crack addict within the space of about 48 hours and later managed to get clean and well within a week using nothing but willpower.
  3. AFKATafcar

    AFKATafcar Community Champion

    I'm not going to go into specifics because there are dozens of examples. For comedy reasons, I see the point of the dumbfoundingly simple and fast addiction/recovery episodes for certain television shows. I've seen a lot of good serious portrayals of addiction on television and in movies, though. The characters don't always get clean by the end of an episode, season, or movie either.
  4. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Maybe those quit portrayals are only just on those comedy films or shows. Mostly substance abuse is portrayed by characters experiencing depression, crime or done by those guys in a gang.
  5. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    The Wolf of Wall Street is actually a great movie which features substance abuse, even rich people go through those kinds of stuff. Well, addiction is really an "equal opportunity destroyer." The movie Dallas Buyers Club also talks about issues on drug abuse and its negative effects.
  6. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    Trainspotting is my favorite movie about drug abuse because they did such a good job demonstrating what it is like. I really liked the portrayal in Wild as well. I just watched Wild and it gave a good outlook on what heroin can do to you, and how Cheryl Strayed was able to remove herself from the situation and get better. She went on to live a normal productive life so it was really inspiring.
  7. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    The media have a habit of making drug abuse seem cool, and I think it does attract people in to that lifestyle. People know the dangers but when you see actors portraying it as ok, I think a lot of people can be easily led by that.

    While the media shouldn't have to change the way they do things, I do think they have some sort of responsibility to think before they make programs on drug addiction, and realise that some people will be affected by it.
  8. anorexorcist

    anorexorcist Community Champion

    Trainspotting is a really good movie! I first saw it when I was thirteen, so it really scared me! I recently watched Requiem For A Dream and is a good portrait of drug abuse too, there are different histories on this movie but almost all of them ended up being the same. One of the interesting things about this is this movie, is that they include an eating disorder of an old lady, so is not the typical history.
  9. Maniak21

    Maniak21 Member

    I too only saw Requiem and Trainspotting, and I must agree with OP. I like the Requiem more than Trainspotting, I think that was a tad more in my style of portraying, even though I like Trainspotting as well. I didn't watch any other portraying related to substance abuse, so I can't pronounce myself about other movies.
  10. MoneyFiend

    MoneyFiend Member

    The Wolf Of Wall Street was a good portrayal in my opinion. It may not be the best influence but it surely made for a great movie. Being based on Jordan Belfort's real life, it was quite insightful and interesting to watch. Some could even argue inspirational for the right or wrong reasons.
  11. Cheeky_Chick

    Cheeky_Chick Community Champion

    I hate seeing drug abuse depicted on UK soaps, as it all seems to happen too fast, and then the addiction is cured as soon as they can't be bothered dealing with the storyline anymore, which is just a complete shame really, as they have such a great potential to be able to connect with an audience and make a difference in their lives. I do think that the media in general have a great responsibility to portray things as accurately as they possibly can, as they have the chance to do so, so they should be grabbing hold of this chance with both hands.
  12. Rex

    Rex Community Champion

    Requeim for a dream made me sick to my stomach. I dont know why people like it. The basketball diaries and half nelson were good films about substance abuse
  13. deewanna

    deewanna Senior Contributor

    There are so many examples in movies and TV shows. It's alarming and saddening as well. This is part of what has attracted most teenagers to drug use. If the media is making it look so cool and trendy, what else can we expect.
  14. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    I've been watching a teen show called Finding Carter. There's lots of underage drinking and drug use. They make drugs appear cool to kids. Yeah one of the kids [on the show] almost OD's [and ends up in a hospital] but few teens watching the show would learn that doing drugs is bad for them, can lead to death and so on because drugs [on the show] are portrayed in a good light.