HBO, NIDA Team Up for Expansive Documentary on Addiction
> 3/7/2007 10:49:08 AM

Those of you living in New York or other cities around the country may already be familiar with the new advertisements: posters, simple in design, with a single, average looking person centered in the frame. The word "addiction" is stamped prominently along the bottom. Unlike a lot of the gaudy signage and ads plastered on seemingly every surface, these posters take an understated approach to publicizing an important new documentary that will be airing on HBO next week.

Titled simply, Addiction, this new film represents the collaborative work of HBO, who produced the project, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) as well as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), which are both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Yesterday's press release on the NIDA website highlighted why this film is important and what they hope their involvement will achieve:

Currently, addiction affects 23.2 million Americans - of whom only about 10 percent are receiving the treatment they need. "HBO's Addiction Project offers us the opportunity to directly acquaint viewers with available evidence-based medical and behavioral treatments," said NIAAA Director Dr. Ting-Kai Li. "This is especially important for disorders that for many years were treated outside the medical mainstream."

While the film should prove a powerful vehicle for helping to inform viewers about the realities of addiction and the possibilities for treatment, the groups involved have taken this opportunity to mount a multiple media assault on addiction and the misconceptions that surround it. HBO's website offers a great deal of information as well as clips from interviews that appear throughout the project. A grassroots effort at publicizing the documentary, called Addiction Action, also has a bevy of links and capsules of information. The website has also compiled a list of community events taking place across the country that relate to the the film, as well as information for organizing your own event at your home, community center or place of worship. Both NIDA and NIAAA have timed the release of new documents to supplement the film. NIDA's is entitled: "Drugs, Brains and Behavior - The Science of Addiction," and NIAAA's is called: "Helping Patients who Drink Too Much: A Clinician's Guide."

Addiction will premier next Thursday the 15th on HBO, and has been timed to coincide with a free HBO weekend that cable providers around the country will be running the following weekend, which should allow many non-subscribers to see the film during one of it's many showings. After this initial premiere, HBO will also air 13 additional episodes of an Addiction series, each of which will focus on particular issues within the battle against addiction.

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