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.