Using selected scenes from Brazilian films to teach about substance use disorders, within medical education
João Mauricio Castaldelli-Maia, Hercílio Pereira Oliveira, Arthur Guerra Andrade, Francisco Lotufo-Neto, Dinesh Bhugra
Films are a powerful medium and not only are influenced by the society and culture in which they are made but also influence society and culture in return. Use and abuse of psychoactive substances are a matter of concern not only in Brazilian society but also elsewhere. For any society, it is worthwhile investigating how substance abuse, dependence and addiction are portrayed in films and then, how this influences vulnerable members of the audience. It is also useful to explore how accurate the portrayal is and whether this is a true reflection of what is going on in society. This raises interesting questions for mental health professionals and trainers alike.
Films are made for entertainment, but often there is a kernel of truth in what they portray and, therefore, it should be possible to use them for teaching medical students and psychiatric trainees.