It’s Friday night. We’re kicking back with some sordid stories on the Investigation Discovery channel. When all of a sudden up pops a promotion for ID Addict of the Month. It offers a thousand dollar prize no less. We couldn’t believe our eyes. Or our ears. Addict of the Month? Are they kidding?
Apparently not. Yes, despite the fact that over 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017 and who knows how many millions more are in the grip of addiction, Investigation Discovery thinks it’s cool to be an addict. They must. Otherwise the network would never risk a promotion called Addict of the Month.
Yeah, we know. It’s ID Addict of the Month, and not Drug Addict of the Month. We get it. But just because the promo's not heroin addict, meth addict, cocaine addict or some other drug of no-choice addict, doesn't mean it's not somewhat offensive. Sorry ID, your big idea belittles the word, not to mention the who behind the word.
Unless ID is claiming that watching its programming creates a physiological dependency, the network's implying that addiction is a choice. People don’t become ID Addicts because to do otherwise might kill them (the lethality of the shows notwithstanding); they become Addicts because they want to. And that’s a serious misrepresentation, no matter how it’s implied.
Being an addict isn’t something someone does to enjoy themselves. And addiction most certainly isn’t limited to Friday nights. Sure, substance abuse can begin as a weekend thrill. And for most folks it can remain that way too. But addicts aren’t most folks. They suffer from a disease. And like all folks who suffer from disease, they can’t turn it on and off like television.
Indeed, being an addict is all-consuming. It’ll take you and break you. And it’ll take and break your friends and family too. It can cost you your job. It can cost you your home. And it could even cost you your life. To use the condition in a humorous manner isn’t at all funny.
Now before all you True Crime TV nuts get in an uproar, we too dig ID. We especially dig Lt. Joe Kenda, the Homicide Hunter. And now that the Colorado Springs detective will also be delivering My, My Mysteries, we expect to dig the network even more. But Addict of the Month is beneath them. Addiction shouldn’t be shrugged off, let alone taken lightly. And being an Addict isn’t something that should be advocated or promoted. We at Recovery Boot Camp know this all too well. So do the many millions of Americans who either directly or indirectly suffer from addiction.
How ‘bout it ID? Wanna rethink this particular promotional strategy? Surely a channel as keen as yours can come up with something a little less trite than Addict of the Month, no? Of course you can.