The use and abuse of psychoactive substances is documented frequently in American popular culture—in movies, music, books, TV shows, podcasts, TV commercials, etc. Some of these portrayals glorify the use of psychoactive substances while others portray the use of drugs in a negative light. Additionally, drug users and drug sellers can be portrayed in a positive or negative light. Moreover, negative racial and ethnic stereotypes as well as stereotypes about drugs users/sellers are frequently used in these portrayals. The purpose of this paper is to describe the portrayal of drug use in popular culture and to assess whether research supports (or refutes) a connection between media portrayals of drug use and the use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs among children, adolescents or young adults. Thus, you will need to find one research article that supports (or refutes) this connection.
For this paper, choose a song (or CD), movie, book, TV show, podcast, or commercial (or commercials), etc. that includes references to the use or sale of drugs. In this paper you will need to address the following:
1) Describe the media portrayal in enough detail so that I understand what it is you are describing. In this description, comment on whether you believe the use (or sale) of drugs is being glorified or repudiated. Be sure to think about and comment on the cultural context of the portrayal. Describe whether this portrayal is steeped in cultural or racial stereotypes and how this affects our society in general. (1 page)
2) Describe the research articles you found (i.e., the purpose of the study, how the study was conducted, and the study results). (1/2 to 1 page)
3) Discuss whether you believe this article presents good evidence linking (or refuting) an association between media portrayals of drug use and the use of alcohol, tobacco and/or other drugs by young people in the U.S. Is the evidence compelling or is it weak? Why or why not? (1 page)
4) Discuss whether you believe the government (Federal, State or Local) should enact stricter policies limiting exposure to media portrayals of ATOD use/abuse to young people in this country. Why or why not? (1/2 to 1 page)