32 million Americans have an addiction. Less than 10 percent are getting treatment.
A new HBO documentary documentary series, appropriately called “Addiction,” looks to find answers to the many questions raised about drug and alcohol addiction across America. Its goal is to bring awareness and education in the hopes that something can be done to prevent and treat addictions.
“Addiction” is extremely well produced. At the beginning of the 90-minute film, the cameras mimic their subjects’ mindsets: the camera is shaky and blurry and gives the drunk and drugged-out feel. It’s then divided up by chapter-each chapter tells a story with commentary from expert sources, including doctors who work in the field of addiction. Many of them speak about the science of getting and being addicted to a substance.
The film’s chapters include; "A Mother’s Desperation," "The Science of Relapse," "Opiate Addiction-A New Medication" and "Insurance Woes." At the end of each chapter, HBO flashes a "for more information" URL about each piece of subject matter.
“Addiction” is educational, and raises the awareness that it’s not just the homeless who have addictions. Nurses, teachers, housewives and businessmen-people from all walks of life and all ages-can develop an addiction, the series shows. The main film shows, however, that addictions generally start between the ages of 18 to 25.
HBO is asking communities all over the country to host house parties to show the documentary and discuss the film with friends, neighbors, family and colleagues. People can sign up to host or attend a house party on a website here you can host or attend a screening party. The Web site includes a link to advertise events in individual communities, including town hall meetings, statehouse briefings and special preview screenings in over 40 cities.
The project is a multimedia production, involving a feature-length film and several additional shorts, as well as a companion book and DVD, which can both be purchased on HBO.com/addiction. In addition, there is a wide variety of information about addictions that can be found on hbo.com/addiction’s website.
The 90-minute central film originally aired on HBO on March 15 at 9 p.m. HBO was widely available, even to non-subscribers, on that date for the purpose of giving the film a wider distribution. Thirteen 20-minute films will be aired on HBO2 and can now be streamed online at hbo.com/addiction.
All 14 films can be downloaded as a podcast at online or viewed on HBO On Demand.