Glorifying Alcohol in Teen Movies

by Andrew Mounier on January 3, 2013

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underage drinking and drivingTeen movies almost always feature scenes of teenaged characters drinking and partying; the main cast is usually glorified for getting drunk and acting out of control. Drinking at prom until their sick and incapacitated has even become a major cliché in both movies and TV. Although acting responsibly might not be as interesting, the cost of this type of entertainment is too high. Directors and producers use the excuse that the people playing these roles are old enough to drink (the typical 17 year old in a movie is actually in their mid-20s), so they aren’t technically doing anything illegal. However, glorifying underage alcohol abuse in movies has an undeniable influence over teenagers, some feel more compelled to do it and others feel more pressured to drink even though they don’t want to. What teens see on the big screen isn’t anything near what they’ll experience in real life; they aren’t likely to do it once, have a fun life experience, then wake up the next day as a valedictorian.

The Sad Reality of Teenage Drinking

  • Alcohol is the most abused substance for school aged youth.
  • 4,700 people die from under aged drinking each and every year.
  • Over 180,000 emergency room visits yearly are due to alcohol use in under aged drinkers.
  • Almost half of people under 21 have drunk alcohol.
  • Over 20% of underage drinkers have binge drank before.
  • 25% of teenagers have ridden with a drinking driver.
  • Almost 8% of teens have driven under the influence of alcohol.

Consequences of Underage Alcohol Use

Outside of death from alcohol poisoning and DUI related car accidents, there are plenty of other downsides to underage drinking which teenagers, parents, and school personnel should be aware of. Drinking usually causes poor academic performance and attendance; underage drinkers get into frequent physical and verbal altercations and drinking as a youth can cause lifetime brain damage. Teenage girls who drink are far more likely to be the victim of sexual assault and date rape; teens also engage in high risk sexual behavior while under the influence at a higher rate. Suicide and homicide rates in teens are higher when alcohol is involved, and under aged drinkers are more prone to health and mental problems throughout their life. Read more about the consequences of underage alcohol use on the CDC website.                   

What Parents Can Do to Help

Many parents don’t fully grasp the seriousness of underage drinking; many moms and dads are in denial that their teenagers drink at all, or that it’s even a big deal. Recognizing the potential for problems in this area is the first step; even if your child is not currently an underage drinker, certain situations can be very tempting for them and they may start drinking. Knowing where your kids are going, who they are going with, and who is in charge your business, even if they’re old enough to drive a car they still aren’t capable of making the best choices all alone. People actually don’t have the mental ability to properly assess risk and fully understand consequence until they are 25, that’s why most accidental deaths related to alcohol happen before this age. In addition to trying to keep it from happening altogether, be there for your teen if they do have a slip up. If they drink, let them know to call you to get them instead of driving or riding with a drunken friend. And lastly, if you do recognize a pattern of alcohol abuse, get help for your teen. Rehab isn’t just for people with years and years of addiction, it can take mere weeks to develop as physical dependency to a substance and your teenager may need help to stop.

The Law Office of Kevin Krist is a personal injury law firm located in Houston, Texas.  For more information, please visit us at

Andrew Mounier
Andrew Mounier is a Content Engineer and Author. He has worked in marketing for over a decade and finds his passion in bringing concepts to life for the world to enjoy. He is also an avid legal blogger and currently working on a book with his wife about social entrepreneurship. He is a true Socialpreneur and finds that his goal in life is to be an agent for positive social change through both his writing and business endeavors.
Andrew Mounier
Andrew Mounier

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