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Movies can be an effective method to teach dangers of substance abuse

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Movies can be an effective method to teach dangers of substance abuse

Statistics provoke numb responses. Movie create connection, and better teach life lessons.

Statistics provoke numb responses. Movie create connection, and better teach life lessons.

Illustration by: Tana Ososki

Statistics provoke numb responses. Movie create connection, and better teach life lessons.

Illustration by: Tana Ososki

Illustration by: Tana Ososki

Statistics provoke numb responses. Movie create connection, and better teach life lessons.

Tana Ososki, Interactive Storytelling Team

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Every year the school holds an assembly where different groups of professionals come and talk to the students about the negative effects of drugs and alcohol on teenagers. These assemblies are informative, and have good intentions, but during these discussions students usually zone out, and do not seem to understand the bigger risks of drugs and alcohol. The statistics, and scientific reasoning do not seem to grab the students attention as it is supposed to. Wouldn’t a realistic example of someone their age experiencing addiction and its  negative outcomes better catch the students’ attention?

The recent movie Beautiful Boy by Felix van Groeningen is a perfect example of a film that would do just that. The movie itself is based on a “perfect” boy named Nic who has good grades, and is involved in the school newspaper, acting, and athletics. But, addiction tears his life apart. At seventeen, he begins to use alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with anger of sadness. All of a sudden he spirals out of control: his drinking becomes an addiction, and he becomes dependent on his mood stabilizer pills. The movie  would bring out more of the emotion from the students, and social reasons to avoid substance use and abuse. “Beautiful Boy” is a movie, full of drama that will grab anyone’s attention. Since it is a movie students will get caught up in the characters and truly care about what is happening on the screen. Students will be presented with a flawed protagonist that they can relate to, and learn from.

The movie itself is based on a “perfect” boy named Nic who has good grades, and is involved in the school newspaper, acting, and athletics. But, addiction tears his life apart.”

This movie also shows the effect of drug addiction to the people close to the drug addict. The Nic’s father is late to catch on to his Nic’s addiction, and delves into research to understand what is happening to his son. Nic’s father understands that he needs to do whatever possible for his son to stop being an addict, even if that includes potentially ruining his relationship with his son. By showcasing an average family struggling to support a child with addiction, students are faced to contemplate that the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse are not individual.

Students would be able to relate to Nic; they would be able to see how such a star student and good son’s life could be turned around by drugs and alcohol. Addiction cannot be explained with statistics. Watching a movie like Beautiful Boy would allow students to imagine addiction in their own lives and community. Instead of listening to a lecture were students see an addiction as more of a distant problem, thoughtful movies would provide more realistic examples students can use to understand the weight of drugs and alcohol abuse.

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About the Writer
Tana Ososki, Interactive Storytelling Team

Tana Ososki is a sophomore, this is her first year on RubicOnline and she is excited to learn how to become a better journalist.  She is a member of...

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