The authors of this monograph had the following aims:
To identify the dominant media portrayals used to denote illicit drugs in Australian news media and dominant portrayals by drug type (cannabis, amphetamines, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin);
To identify the extent to which media portrayals have changed over time (from 2003-2008): measured in terms of the number and type of media reports on illicit drugs;
To explore the impacts of different media portrayals on youth attitudes to illicit drug use: namely their perceptions of the risks and acceptability of use and their likelihood of future use; and
To determine if the media differentially affects sub-populations of youth, and if so, to identify the sub-populations of youth that are most responsive to media reporting on illicit drugs.