Saturday, February 17, 2007

New HBO Special on Addiction

Just yesterday, I received an email from someone at HBO, asking me to consider encouraging my readers to tune in for a new 14-part documentary due to be aired in March. Based upon my reading of the advance materials and press releases, The Addiction Project will seek to "redefine drug and alcohol addiction". There will be a 90-minute centerpiece film followed by 13 additional films which will focus on "the neurological forces behind addiction, getting treatment, relpase, understanding particular therapies, and adolescent addiction." The films will apparently will utilize the model in which addictiojn is seen as a chronic brain disease, examining the environmental, behavioral, and genetic factors that can make an individual more vulnerable to substance abuse.

Due to my interest in addiction, its treatment, and the day to day struggles of my those facing its challenges, I am trusting that this series will be done well, will be well worth watching, and may help to continue the conversation already happening around the country vis-a-vis the disease model of addiction and recovery.My only regret is that I will not see the series myself, not having access to HBO. I'll just have to wait for the DVD.






Project Defines Addiction As

A Chronic Relapsing Brain Disease That Is Treatable


Entire Series To Be Offered Free To Cable Subscribers

During Four-Day Preview On HBO, March 15-18


“How can we comprehend the concept of a person who wants to stop doing something and cannot, despite catastrophic consequences? That is what we are up against. Some people don’t want to speak about addiction, or compare it to other chronic diseases. Well, this is a disease, a treatable disease, and it needs to be understood. HBO’s ADDICTION project is an initiative that will help people understand more about this illness, its advancements and how to find help.”

-- Nora Volkow, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 12, 2007 – One in four Americans has a family member who is struggling with addiction. Over 80% of people with substance abuse or dependence disorder started using before age 18. Currently, addiction affects 22.2 million Americans. Yet only 9% are receiving the treatment they need.

In partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), HBO launches the ADDICTION project, an unprecedented multi-media campaign aimed at helping Americans understand addiction as a treatable brain disease, as well as spotlighting new medical advancements. Debuting THURSDAY, MARCH 15 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), with the centerpiece documentary ADDICTION, the series is eye opening and ultimately hopeful, providing guidance in navigating the often-confusing world of addiction treatment and recovery.

For the first time, HBO will use all of its digital platforms, including the HBO main service, multiplex channels, HBO On Demand, pod casts, web streams, and DVD sales to support a campaign that includes a 14-part documentary series, a book published by Rodale Press, four independent addiction-themed films, a robust website and a national community grassroots outreach campaign funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. All films will initially be offered during a free HBO preview weekend from Thursday, March 15 to Sunday, March 18 in participating cable systems.

“HBO is utilizing all of its platforms to develop programming directly targeted to the various needs of the American public on this complex public health issue,” says Chris Albrecht, HBO’s chairman and CEO. “Our resources are committed to illuminating, demystifying and defining addiction – a problem that is riddled with misconceptions.”

The ADDICTION project showcases the work of many of today’s leading documentary filmmakers, including Jon Alpert; Kate Davis and David Heilbroner; Susan Froemke; Liz Garbus and Rory Kennedy; Eugene Jarecki; Barbara Kopple; Albert Maysles; D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus; and Alan and Susan Raymond.

ADDICTION brings together leading thinkers and organizations that are at the threshold of new treatments. Current advances in brain imaging science make it possible to see inside the brain of an addicted person, pinpoint the parts of the brain affected by addiction, and see how the addict’s brain differs, ushering in a great many advances in medical treatment. In fact, treatments for addiction are now as effective as treatments for other chronic relapsing diseases such as diabetes, hypertension or asthma.

A candid depiction of the emotional, psychological, social and political toll that addiction takes on the country, the ADDICTION project demonstrates conclusively that the disease is treatable and shows that there are millions of Americans in long-term recovery. Topics covered include: the nature of addiction, addiction in the workplace, and the protracted insurance battles waged by families, as well as the difficulty of finding and getting adequate treatment.

The ADDICTION project will be supported by an unprecedented 30-city nationwide community outreach campaign funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and coordinated by Join Together, Faces and Voices of Recovery, and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA).

The ADDICTION project is produced by John Hoffman and Susan Froemke and executive produced by Sheila Nevins. For additional information, visit

Post a Comment