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Friday, March 18, 2016

Addiction Recovery Goes Mainstream

addiction recovery
In recent years, there have been a variety of cable TV programs that tie addiction recovery into the story line. In a number of shows, you can see characters working programs of recovery - sometimes more accurately than others. Nevertheless, completely accurate or not, it is nice that addiction recovery is considered to be topical enough to incorporate into prime time television. With the nation facing a prescription opioid and heroin crisis - affecting millions of Americans, it is good for people to see that addiction no longer carries the stigma it once did. Addiction is a mental illness that needs come out of the darkness so that people will seek the help they so desperately need.

If you have been perusing Netflix of late, you may have stumbled upon a new series called Flaked. The show was co-written by former Arrested Development co-star Will Arnett. The show centers around a character named Chip who is a recovering alcoholic and regularly attends meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). While the series is fictional, it draws from a number of Arnett’s own experiences with alcoholism.

"When I see people saying 'Other shows have tackled (the subject) better,' I say, 'You can't say that it's not accurate, because it's my experience,' " Arnett told USA Today. "I'm shedding a little light on my relationship with my own sobriety, which at times has been tricky at best." 

Another Netflix show that ties addiction into the story is called Love, starring Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs. The show was written by Paul Rust, along with his wife Lesley Arfin who drew from her own past experience with addiction. Jacobs' character, Mickey, is a functioning alcoholic, drug and sex and love addict who is new to the program.

"I wasn't trying to think, 'How can every single person relate to this one character?'" said Arfin about creating Love to USA Today. "As far as Mickey's concerned, she's new to recovery, so it's not going to be her whole personality or overtake anything." 

Both Flaked and Love are relatively lighthearted and even comical at times, but they paint a fairly accurate picture of what people recovering from addiction go through on a day to day basis. If you have a moment, it may be worth your time to watch both series.

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