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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Thursday, February 22, 2007
"Addiction" series to premiere at State House
Boston figures in a new HBO documentary series, "Addiction," that will begin airing in March. City and state health leaders will discuss the problems of addiction after a screening of the first episode at 6 p.m. Monday at the State House.
The cable television series is part of a campaign by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to improve understanding of addiction as a treatable brain disease.
The South Boston Drug Court is featured in one episode about long-term treatment for people involved in court cases.
But the local connections don't end there, said John Auerbach, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, pointing to neighborhood coalitions focused on fighting substance abuse. He is a panelist at the event.
"Behavioral change doesn't happen easily," he said. "You have to have the message reinforced on TV, in your neighborhood, by your coach, wherever you are, and with a linkage to support."
Maryanne Frangules, executive director of the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery, wants people to know that addiction is a disease and that more people than they might expect are recovering from it. MOAR is hosting the screening.
"There's help out there, but not enough," she said.