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December 16, 1998

AddictionClose to Home: Moyers on Addiction

Author Affiliations

Copyright 1998 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1998American Medical Association

JAMA. 1998;280(23):2046-2047. doi:10.1001/jama.280.23.2046-JBK1216-5-1

Close to Home: Moyers on Addiction premiered on the Public Broadcasting System on March 29, 30, and 31, 1998. This television and now video series consists of five 1-hour focused videos entitled "Portrait of Addiction," "The Hijacked Brain," "Changing Lives," "The Next Generation," and "The Politics of Addiction." The series provides a candid look at recent trends in the "American disease" of addiction.

Our review examines the program not only from the professional and provider's frame of reference, but also from the perspectives of the addict and family members. We talked to medical students, house staff, patients, and their families about their perceptions of the series. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has called drug use and addiction the nation's number one public health problem. The Moyers series documents the troubling finding of increased drug use among our youth, despite increases in education and prevention programs. While most physicians are aware of the prevalence of addiction, many of our patient families were surprised at how this disease infects all social strata without regard for age, race, sex, or income.

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