Guarding our children against the onslaught of alcoholism across the country is a lot harder today than it was 60, 40, even 20 years ago. The way that movies are promoting alcoholism is sometimes very overt, but others quite subtly. For many years now, groups have been actively promoting the way that movies, and television shows, glorify the act of drinking, and even getting drunk.
Not Only in R Movies Anymore
It used to be that many of the movies that had any sort of hard-drinking in them would be rated ‘R’ by the Motion Picture Association. However, that has gone down to ‘PG-13’ and then to a ‘PG’ movie. The hard-drinking, teenage parties, and glorification of how great drinking alcohol can be have had a severe impact on the way that younger generations process the good and bad of drinking.
Influential Movies Mean More than Parents or Teachers
It is one thing to tell a child that drinking is not something that they should be doing. When watching a TV show, or a movie, with their favorite actor in it, and they are drinking beer, wine, or hard liquor products, the allure that it is “cool” often overrides authority. A recent study has shown that drinking among young males goes up about 65% after they watch a movie that has some drinking in it. In fact, by showing two different movies, one with heavy drinking, and one without, the drinking was up considerably after watching the movie with drinking.
Subtle Advertising Equals Long Time Thoughts
When it comes to underage drinking, the very thought can sit in the mind for quite some time before it is acted upon. Some movies, in which a beer can is only shown a few times, or there is a reference to a “six-pack” or going out for a few drinks, have a tremendous impact on the thought process of a teenager. Mostly, this is found in male teenagers. These thoughts, while resting within the mind for some time, can turn into reality.
Pop Culture Influence
Teenagers are the ones that are affected the most when it comes to movies promoting alcoholism. The recent Harry Potter movie shows a 16-year-old Harry Potter enjoying his “butterbeer” and seemingly getting drunk from it. At least 25% of moviegoers who see this type of underage drinking, themselves seek out ways to get drunk rather than drinking soda or some other type of drink. The biggest comedy of 2010 is called, “The Hangover.” Just the mention of drinking in the title means that those venturing to the movies will continue with the drinking long after the movie is completed.
Movies Promoting Alcoholism Should Be Monitored
Parents who want to make sure that their children have a chance against the rising tide of alcoholism should monitor the movies that are being watched. Just like setting the parental controls on the cable TV, or computer, guidelines should be set about what types of movies, and what type of content, is acceptable.
There’s some help available in treatment for alcohol addiction in Canada.