science of addiction

The Science of Addiction: Wonderfully Animated

Who says the science of addiction can't be entertaining? Not the Washington DC-based Addiction Policy Forum, that's for sure. Otherwise the national nonprofit wouldn't have released an animated video series that 'turns the science of addiction into stories that stick.' And we wouldn't be blessed with an entertaining way to help erase the stigma of addiction.

Actually, the series -- called simply "Addiction" -- isn't only entertaining; it's edifying too. Partly because it was drawn into being by Patrick Smith, who cut his teeth on the MTV hit Daria and PBS’ Blank on Blank. Partly because 'each episode highlights critical research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).' And partly because the series' content is 'the result of intensive collaboration among scientists, patients and families impacted by addiction, as well as the Addiction Policy Forum.'

The aim of "Addiction" is to "expand understanding about substance use disorders (SUDs)," says a release. It also aims to "debunk myths and misinformation that keep addiction from being treated like any other chronic medical condition."

If the aim of "Addiction" seems high, it's because the aim of the Addiction Policy Forum is even higher. Got doubts? Just check the NGO's eight strategic priorities:

Addiction Policy Forum's Vision & Direction 2018-2012

  • Help Families in Crisis: Provide new, effective resources and support for patients and families in crisis.
  • Expand Treatment Access and Integration into Healthcare: Through partnerships and research, develop resources, protocols and tools for physicians, healthcare systems and the workforce to integrate treatment of substance use disorders into healthcare.
  • Drive Discovery: Invest in research on how to treat, prevent and cure addiction and its related disorders.
  • Expand Recovery Support: Properly prioritize and secure resources for the recovery support programs that individuals need in their communities.
  • Prevention: Increase funding for and the number of prevention programs nationwide.
  • Protect Children Impacted by Parental Substance Use Disorder: Expand resources to support children who have a family member with a substance use disorder.
  • Reframe the Criminal Justice System: Partner with key stakeholders to re-envision how the criminal justice system responds to addiction.
  • Advocate and Educate: Intensify the urgency around addiction and mobilize bold action through advocacy and engagement.

But it's the science of addiction that concerns them here. And it's the science of addiction that's so adroitly addressed by "Addiction." For good reason too.

“Most people don’t understand the science of addiction,” says Addiction Policy Forum president Jessica Hulsey Nickel. “It’s our job to translate what we know about this disease into stories that patients and families struggling with addiction can actually understand.”

We at Recovery Boot Camp wholeheartedly applaud the Addiction Policy Forum for their vision, foresight, as well as their ingenuity in helping to combat the opioid crisis. We'd also like to applaud animator Patrick Smith for so deftly crafting such an entertaining and edifying series. "Addiction" is not only smart about the science of addiction; it's equally smart about erasing the stigma of addiction. And an issue as pressing as addiction can use all the smarts it can get.

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