Still have questions?

Join Common Sense Media Plus for timely advice from a community of parents like you.

Join now

Back to topic overview

Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking

How should I deal with movies that glorify drinking or drug use, such as The Hangover and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle?

Try to avoid them. Studies show that teens who watch movies with alcohol are more likely to binge-drink. Unfortunately, it might be challenging to find alternative entertainment without booze: Alcohol appearances are increasing in movies for adolescents and teens.

The problem with these movies is that they tend to only show the fun side of drinking. Sure, the characters suffer and endure indignities, but it's all handled as a joke.

Counterbalance those messages with some sobering discussions: Make sure your kids understand that goofy booze-fueled antics have serious consequences; discuss the fact that young brains and bodies are not equipped to handle the effects of alcohol; and explore any underlying issues your teen is experiencing, as watching movies with alcohol is only one of the risk factors for underage drinking.

Was this answer helpful?
Sign in or sign up to share your thoughts


Teen, 16 years old written by TheVoiceOfReason1

Teens will find a way to watch what they want, so as long as they understand drinking has many risks snd benifits (not from binge drinking of course), they should be good.
Adult written by Movies_Life

You should make your teens wait till about the age of 16 or 17, by this time they will know the good and bad of drugs, alcohol, and smoking (mostly bad). If they haven't or you think they haven't explain to them that these things are bad for your health and well-being, or they may even kill you. Don't scare them with it but explain. Lastly, if you can't grab their attention watch the movie with them and fast-forward inappropriate scenes. What you can also do is, while watching the movie explain to your children that what the characters are doing is wrong and they shouldn't be doing it. Overall, before doing these steps think if your child is mature and responsible to judge right and wrong.