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College Students Catch HBO’s Addiction

HBO and Open Student Television Network are teaming up to make groundbreaking documentary series Addiction available to college students nationwide on their televisions and computers.

The series will be available to students as a public-service initiative beginning Tuesday via OSTN, which delivers its program streams to educational institutions via the Internet2 and National LambdaRail networks.

Addiction, which premiered on HBO in March, brings together the nation’s leading experts on drug and alcohol addiction with a collection of award-winning filmmakers to shed light on addiction, its causes and the latest and most promising developments in treatments.

The series will launch on OSTN with a centerpiece 90-minute feature-length film focusing on case studies and new medical treatments that can radically improve people’s lives.

Consisting of nine segments, the film presents an encouraging look at addiction as a treatable brain disease and spotlights the major medical advances in treatment. From emergency rooms to living rooms and research laboratories, the documentary follows the trail of an illness that afflicts so many -- one in 10 Americans over age 12 is classified with substance dependence or drug abuse and one in four Americans has a family member struggling with the disease.

Following this feature-length documentary, a supplementary series of 13 short films will delve into the complex dimensions of addiction. These short films feature in-depth interviews with the nation’s leading experts and explore innovative family training and treatment approaches, successful drug court programs that reduce relapses and re-arrests and the dynamics of dealing with a disease that sometimes requires as much investment from family and community as it does from the individual struggling to recover.

“We are proud to bring this gripping and extremely informative HBO project to college students as a public service,” OSTN CEO Prashant Chopra said in a prepared statement. “We are hopeful that the information conveyed by Addiction will help college students to better understand the issue and recognize that they can take control of their situation and help others to do so as well.”

The documentary series is a presentation of HBO in association with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.