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New MTV Series Teens Battling Addiction In Boston


Though the rate of drug use has fallen over the last several years, addiction is still a massive problem in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 10% of adults are dependent on illegal drugs. As many as 15% of teens and young adults report using illicit drugs. 


Over the last several years, drug use among teens in Massachusetts has been higher than the national average. A staggering number of youths in the state see no risk in misusing drugs and alcohol, and nearly half a million children between 12 and 17 have reported that they have misused alcohol.


The opioid epidemic tragically claims the lives of tens of thousands of people each year, accounting for nearly 70% of all overdose deaths in 2018. Opioid use among teens has fallen slightly, and many people are doing their best to keep the numbers falling.


Here in Boston, one woman is spearheading efforts to keep teens on the straight and narrow. Michelle Lipinski is the director of Northshore Recovery High School which is a public school in Boston geared to providing specialized education and support to a student population that struggles with substance use disorders.


Addiction and Teens

Drugs and alcohol can be enticing, and unfortunately all it takes is one use for some people to get hooked on them.


When it comes to drugs and addiction, there are many risk factors for teens. Some of these factors are internal while others are external. Teens can be genetically predisposed to addiction, but they can also be at risk if they live in poverty, have mental illness, or are being abused.


Michelle Lipinski of Northshore Recovery High School wants to ensure that no matter what life is throwing at these kids – they have a support system to help them through.


That’s one reason she decided to allow the film crews from MTV into the school. Lipinski feels that it is important to show the reality of teen addiction for the students as well as the staff working with them.


16 and Recovering

This new show from MTV is a documentary that will be aired in four parts, and it will give a look into the lives of 9 of the students. 


16 and Recovering” will follow these teens as they go to prom, struggle through passing classes, graduate high school – and battle a substance abuse disorder. 


The show does not shy away from the realities of addiction, nor does it glamorize them. Instead, it tries to give real insight into how addiction Boston affects these kids…even as some sadly fall victim to the disease.


Will the show serve its purpose, though?


Reality TV’s Effect On Teen Lives

In the years between 1991 and 2008, the rate of teen pregnancy in the United States steadily declined.


When MTV debuted “16 and Pregnant” in 2009, many people were concerned that the show would glamorize teen pregnancy and result in a rise in the rate of teen pregnancies. 


While the jury is still out on whether or not the show helped to glamorize teen pregnancy, statistics show that the rate of teen pregnancies actually fell after the show began to air. Studies have linked this rate decline directly to the show’s realistic portrayals of teen pregnancy in the United States.


MTV and supporters of the new show are hopeful that the same thing will happen when “16 and Recovering” begins to air. 


Intervention For Teens

Michelle Lipinski hopes that seeing the struggles faced by her students will help viewers to be more considerate of people in their lives who are dealing with the same issues.


Alongside the show, MTV is introducing a new website for support and information for those who need it. Working together with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, MTV aims to tackle this social-justice issue.


The show will likely receive a lot of attention and exposure, allowing MTV to make “16 and Recovering” a catalyst for deep conversations as well as a campaign against addiction in high school aged children in America.


What To Do Next

One of the reasons a show like this will have such a large reach is because it is so novel. There are fewer than 50 schools like Northshore in the United States. 


Teen addiction is obviously a problem, but it can be difficult to overcome alone. If you or a loved one is living with addiction, or you know someone who needs intervention because of the use of drugs – we are here to help. 


Landmark Recovery of Boston is here and ready to help you discover what options are available for recovery.

Call us today at 888-448-0302 so we can guide you toward options that can help you be a better you.

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