How strict are the alcohol guidelines?

I want to make sure my story is exactly within the guidelines.

I have a scene where my characters are drinking alcohol in a bar. And then one of the characters ends up throwing up due to the alcohol.

Is that against guidelines and classes as promotion of excessive drinking?

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I think it’s okay to show the character throwing up due to the alcohol; I’ve seen stories with those scenes.

Drugs & Alcohol:

  1. No description or depiction of active, ongoing drug, alcohol or tobacco use by characters who are under the age of 16
  2. No graphic/explicit/detailed descriptions or glorification of the use or effects of drugs, alcohol or tobacco
  3. No glorification of an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
  4. No characters may use hard drugs or associated paraphernalia, including but not limited to: cocaine, heroin or other injectables, non-prescription pills e.g. LSD, prescription brand or non-brand medication outside of prescribed use e.g. Xanax, unidentified powders or pills

Essentially, don’t show characters under the age of 16 doing drugs or drinking alcohol. You also can’t describe the effects of drugs or alcohol on your characters in detail. Nor can your characters use “hard core” drugs. Finally, you can’t glorify an addiction. You can mention a character is addicted, but don’t represent that as a ‘good’ thing. That being said, your characters are still free to drink and use the recently released props.

Example of approved/unapproved content

You can: Show your character going to a bar, drinking and acting a lil tipsy. (This one is a little confusing, so it might be better to just use a “show” don’t tell method. If a kid could see the scene and think someone is drinking juice and having fun you’re good.)
You can’t: Show your character getting heavily drunk or describe their experience in life like detail.
“My head is spinning and everything around me is swirling into insanity. Glass after glass my pain is eased and I can feel my head fill with instant relief”

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I mean, I think as long as you don’t portray it in a ‘good’ light, I don’t think it breaks the guideline.

I have a character drunk and throwing up in my first story - granted it’s a short moment and I didn’t elaborate but it was clear they were drinking/drunk (i.e. holding bottle, drinking it, their language slurred, their personality very blasé) and then they threw up and passed out.

So, based on that, I wouldn’t say having a character sick in a bar would be different than my character in a house party sick from drinking. :woman_shrugging: Just be sure that it’s obviously in a bad light (e.i. in my story the male MC is worried when the female doesn’t show up to their meeting place, goes looking for her, finds her in a house partying and clearly drunk and is annoyed that she got herself to the point of throwing up and passing out. )

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Thank you so much, I was really stressed because the guides can be so strict. I appreciate the help!

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Thank you, that really helps and is super assuring!

You’re welcome. Just keep it short and sweet, and like louiswrites said, employ a ‘show don’t tell’ about it and you should be just fine. :slight_smile:

You can also send a support ticket and ask them to clarify and provide a basic idea/understanding of your scene and a team member should be able to tell you if it would break guidelines. Be specific about your scene, any dialogue etc to get the most accurate answer :slight_smile:

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I’ll tell you, I just wrote a support ticket before starting my story.

My story is a either a mafia or a rich white guy romance (depending on the option the MC chooses) but it’s also used to portray alcohol in a very bad light. And by that I don’t mean a guy throwing up after having some, I mean people becoming violent, going in debt, losing their family members due to it, crashing their cars etc. The mafia members would be the guys selling it while alcohol consumption and handling was illegal during the 20s, and the mafia LI would realize with the help of the MC how continuing to sell alcohol during the prohibition is going to ruin his life and conscribe him to a life of servitude to a mafia family that pushes him to do their dirty work. It’s literally a story about a girl convincing a boy that alcohol is the worst thing he can encounter. It would end with laws being put in place about alcohol consumption when the prohobition ends, and all the main characters would be happy about it and the laws now are praised to keep things in controll.

So if that passes the ticket I sent to see if the story is worth writing instead of me finish a story only to realize I have to cut half of it out before it can barely pass the bar, well then I’ll tell you if your scene will be a problem becuase if mine won’t be yours sure as hades won’t be.

Oh damn … And I was going to have a lot of this … Not glorification but it’s like

Literally having characters drink so much they start vomiting and they can’t stand up and they even have to be hospitalized. I might have the character who had to be hospitalized describe it as “not worth it” … Guess we’ll see

I think if you dont glorify it its fine, ive read stories before where alcoholism is glorified by the alcoholic (obv, bc they’re an addict) but if everyone else around them doesn’t, and you show the negative effects you should be just fine. ive had people drink so much they throw up and black out in my story and its still up lol so.
Avoid narration about what they’re drinking/taking, and in what amount, show dont tell is like a safety blanket bc people will interpret what you show in their own way, like a kid wont know any different if u show one beer and say omg i feel sick, they wouldn’t make that correlation like an adult would if that makes sense.

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Thanks, but I’ll need to make it clear to a point that people are acting differently becuase they drank …

Literally the first scene in my story is a Sufragette finding her daughter hiding under the blanket and starts talking about how she won’t put up with their alcoholic father anymore and how she’ll take action so that her husband won’t drink anymore becuase it makes him agressive and violent.

portraying drunk people is perfectly fine and i think your first scene would be fine as well. either way episode will review it at some point and you can always revise things if they tell you to, but I imagine you wont have to

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