Screenagers UNDER THE INFLUENCE: Press release

MOVIE TRAILER: click here.

Press Contact: Lisa Tabb, 415-482-8726

Kids are vaping in classrooms. Dealers are direct-messaging teens on Instagram and Snapchat. Cannabis is legal in many states, with psychedelics soon to follow. The constant, 24-hour deluge of content pushing the normalcy of drugs, alcohol, and vaping on social media, TV, movies, ads, influencers, etc., is preying on our youth. The substance use culture has never been more appealing and accessible to teens than it is today. 

Screenagers Under The Influence: Addressing Vaping, Drugs, and Alcohol in the Digital Age, the third feature documentary in the Screenagers trilogy, delves into how the tech revolution has reshaped adolescence and its effects on substance use. The film debunks myths and depicts strategies parents and schools can use to encourage healthy decision-making, support teen mental health, set limits, and create healthy home environments. The film also includes many ways young people are using their wisdom and strength to help each other and themselves through this complicated terrain around substance use. 

While most documentaries about substance use focus on severe addiction, Screenagers Under The Influence fills a pressing need for a film that explores more common scenarios. The film is grounded in teens’ current reality of being flooded by images on social media, movies, and TV shows about vaping, drugs, and alcohol. Like the first two Screenagers films, Screenagers Under The Influence interweaves cutting-edge science with personal stories to create an informative and entertaining film experience for young people and adults alike. Screenagers Under The Influence focuses on practical solutions for keeping our teens safe in a changing world. 

Many national experts interviewed include Anna Lembke, MD -  Chief of Stanford Addiction Medicine and Author of Dopamine Nation,), Lisa Damour, Ph.D. - Psychologist. Author, Under Pressure, Nora Volkow, MD -  Dir. National Institute on Drug Abuse, Alisha Moreland-Capuia, MD - Prof. of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Sharon Levy, MD, Dir. of the Adolescent Substance Use & Addiction Program Harvard Medical School, Robert Jackler - Sewall Professor & Principal Investigator, Stanford Research Into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising (SRITA), Rosalind Wiseman- Author, Queen Bees and Wannabes.

For more information, contact The Screenagers Movie Trilogy filmmaker Lisa Tabb at or 415-482-8726 

Delaney Ruston, MD, Screenagers Triology Filmmaker

Delaney Ruston chose her two career paths of primary care physician and documentary filmmaker for one reason: to help create positive change in people’s lives. Her experiences receiving medical care in free clinics while growing up motivated her to pursue health care. During her medicine residency, she began studying filmmaking for social impact and made her first award-winning film. Following her residency she worked at UCSF doing research in the science of human communication and went on to become a Fulbright Scholar in the area of mental health. She has spent the past 11 years intensely researching the impact of screen time on youth and solutions for screen time balance.

For over twenty years Delaney has split her time between providing primary care and creating short and feature-length documentaries, such as the Screenagers trilogy. Examples of her other films include Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia about her father and Hidden Pictures about global mental health. These films have been screened widely, aired on PBS, and were at the forefront of advocacy campaigns, including with the World Health Organization. For her work in using films to build movements, Delaney has won several awards including Harvard’s McLean National Council Recognition Award, New York’s Fountain House Advocacy Award, and one from Mental Health America.

Delaney trained at Stanford Medical School, followed by a medicine residency at UC San Francisco. She has been faculty at The University of Washington School of Medicine and at The Center for Medical Humanities, Bioethics and Compassionate Care at Stony Brook School of Medicine, NY.

Ruston currently lives in Seattle, WA where she has spent many years providing medical and mental health care to underserved teens and adults.