Views & Reviews

Addiction in America: in search of a fix

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 29 March 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:697
  1. Chloe Veltman, freelance journalist, San Francisco (

    Can a series of quality documentaries undo the sensationalised image given by Hollywood to the issue of alcohol and drug addiction in the US? Chloe Veltman reports

    Drug addiction is a problem that affects 23 million Americans, yet fewer than 10% are getting treatment. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdoses are the cause of the second highest number of accidental deaths in the United States after car crashes, doubling between 1999 and 2004, from just over 11 000 to close to 20 000. With most people's views on drug addiction being shaped by over-sensationalised Hollywood films like Requiem for a Dream and Traffic—not to mention the media hoopla surrounding the drug induced death of ex Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith in early February—never has there been a greater need for a straightforward, high profile documentary series on the theme of drug addiction.

    HBO's new documentary film series, Addiction, ought to fill this much needed gap. Produced in …

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