critical examination of the AAP publication and a critique of a media portrayal of substance use

Question Description

This assignment meets the following Course Learning Objectives:

- Articulate basic drug terminology and drug taking behavior
- Identify the various addictive substances – legal and illegal – and their classifications
- Analyze the reasons people commonly abuse substances
- Analyze how substances affect the mind and body and society

In 2010, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement addressing the complex relationships among children, adolescents, substance abuse, and the media. This assignment requires a critical examination of the AAP publication and a critique of a media portrayal of substance use, with links made to the AAP statement and course material. Conclusions about the implications of the media portrayals and the policies recommended by the AAP also should be made.

This assignment proceeds in four steps:


Step One: Read the AAP Policy Statement located below. Make some notes for yourself about points of agreement or disagreement you have with the statement and specific findings regarding media depictions of substance use that you want to assess when you write the paper.

Step Two: Find a current example of substance use portrayal seen in the media; for example, scenes from a movie, a television show, or a commercial; print ads; or portrayals found in “new media” as discussed in the AAP article. The Internet is a good tool for finding film or television portrayals of substance use as well as examples of print ads if ready access to first-hand media is not available. A two paragraph summary of the proposed example of substance use portrayal in the media that will be used for the paper is due by the end of Week 3. This proposal is a separate assignment and is worth 10 points.


Step Three: Write the paper. Begin the paper with an introduction that summarizes the main findings of the AAP article and previews what will be covered in the coming pages. Next, compare and contrast the portrayal of substance use found in the media with the information learned about that substance in the class and textbook. What messages about the substance are being portrayed? How accurate are those messages relative to the actual data on substance use? Be sure to cite the textbook as needed.

Continue by comparing and contrasting the portrayal of substance use found in the media with the criticism of media portrayals found in the AAP paper. Does the media example match their arguments or contradict them? What links and connections can be made? Be sure to cite the article as needed.

Next, draw some conclusions about the portrayal of substance use found in the media, addressing the following: What are the implications of this type of portrayal? What messages are being sent and to whom? Are those messages an accurate representation of the use of this substance? Should media portrayals be required to be accurate in their depictions of use, showing both positive and negative consequences?

Finally, review the guidelines suggested by the AAP at the end of their policy statement and address the following: Although directed specifically at pediatricians, which of those recommendations is most important? Why? Are these recommendations necessary? If followed, will they be effective in addressing the concerns raised earlier in the article? Be sure to cite sources as needed.

Step Four:

The required length of this paper is 11 pages, plus a required a cover page and a reference list. Papers must comply with APA formatting rules, including font size and margins, and must have a scholarly focus and tone. Quoting of published material and use of the first-person “I” are not permitted and will result in point loss. All source material must be paraphrased into your own words and cited appropriately.


AAP Policy Statement on Children, Adolescents, Substance Abuse, and the Media

Levinthal, C. F. (2013). Drugs, Behavior, and Modern Society, 8th Edition [VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from

Final Answer

Hey again. Please find attached. Feel free to let me know in case you need any clarification or edits.


Media Portrayal of Substance Use
Student's Name
Course Number-Name of Course
Instructor’s Name

Media Portrayal of Substance Use
Although several factors cause substance use by the adolescents, the media also does play
a significant role in facilitating the act. Alcohol and tobacco are the two widely used substances,
asserts “AAP Publication 2010”. The media has contributed a lot to the widening of their usage
through actions like the promotion on advertising which reaches even the adolescents making
them vulnerable, articulates “AAP Publication 2010”. Digital media has also contributed widely
to the usage of these drugs through advertisements. The PG-13 and R-rated movies have as well
added to an increased rate in drugs and substance use as a result of the exposure provided to
people below and above the rating.
This paper is in agreement with some concerns raised by the AAP publication which can
help in reducing the rate at which children and adolescents are involved in substance abuse as
well as the role that the media plays in their promotion. One of the strategies is that a ban should
be put in place on any press that advertises tobacco. According to “AAP Publication 2010”, such
a ban will help to regulate the rate at which television viewers and other sources undertake
substance-related drugs. Just like it’s said that anything out of sight, it is out of mind, therefore if
a child or an adolescent who has never been involved doesn’t come into eye contact with the
advertisement from the media, the likelihood of them delving into the use of these substances is
minimal, asserts Levinthal (2013).
This scenario is different from a person who views advertisements in the media
promoting substance-related use such as alcohol and tobacco, making them be tempted to engage
in acts of using these substances. This eventually leads to an increase in the number of users of
such substances. Advertisements works and were it for the idea that it doesn’t, then companies


would not be spending a lot of money paying for the adverts. It makes drinking and smoking to
be viewed as a normative activity pressuring the teenagers to experiment.
The second strategy agreed upon to reduce substance use is the setting of limits on
advertisements which promote alcohol and usage of other substances. Measures that can be used
to avoid the exposure of young children to any content that is substantially related in the media
should also be enacted. According to Levinthal (2013), this will help reduce the number of
substance users by avoiding fresh or starter users since they will not be having a lot of
information concerning the drugs.
It is also in agreement that to reduce the rate at which substance related drugs are being
used, programs should be developed aiming at preventing substance abuse, points out “AAP
Publication 2010”. Whereas the media puts a lot of effort into advertising substance use, the
enacted programs should work on the contrary discouraging substance use.
The programs should focus on issues which will help the substance-related users to
understand the effects, both short-term and long-term on their health matters. The plans should
also aim at the determination of strategies that can be used to help those who have already
addicted substance users. There should also be an implementation of programs aiming at
imparting knowledge concerning the prevention of substance abuse in schools and other public
places where a large population can be addressed.
Additionally, there should be a development of strategies that aim at regulating the kind
of movies that are being watched at the movie theatres since they also contribute to an increment
on the number of substance users. The policies which discourage selling alcohol and tobacco, not


to children and adolescents below the age...

peachblack (33970)
Cornell University

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