HBO program and campaign to advance the understanding of drug and alcohol addiction as a chronic disease

Each year, addiction or misuse of alcohol and other drugs in the United States causes approximately 120,000 deaths and costs over $275 billion in health care utilization. Over the past 15 years, studies have offered striking new research on the genetic patterns of addiction, leading to new medications, connected services, and increasing recognition of addiction as a chronic disease. Home Box Office (HBO), in partnership with the National Institute on Drug Addiction (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is producing a multi-platform campaign to educate America about advancements in understanding drug and alcohol addiction and its treatment as a chronic disease. The campaign's centerpiece is a powerful 90-minute documentary scheduled to air in March 2007; in the opening and closing credits, RWJF will be named as the major presenter, along with the NIDA and the NIAAA. Additional components of the campaign include 14 supplemental program segments that vary in length and approach and give a close-up look at the lives of those suffering with an addiction, as well as highlight the newest advances in treatment research. These segments also will credit RWJF. Furthermore, a media relations outreach program with materials crediting HBO and RWJF will be created. HBO will also launch a comprehensive area on its Web site, and links will enable RWJF Web site users to see HBO video clips and access addictions-related materials. Along with these components, other elements of the HBO campaign include a companion book being published by Rodale Press and a two-week series of articles on addiction science and treatment in USA Today leading up to the March HBO broadcast of the centerpiece show. This multi-platform campaign will give RWJF an opportunity to develop and co-brand, with HBO, its efforts to prevent and improve treatment of addiction as a chronic disease. HBO hopes to shed light on addiction and what constitutes effective treatment for those individuals suffering with alcohol or other drug addictions. This project will be considered successful if it raises public and policy maker attention to addiction prevention and treatment issues and advances understanding that addiction is a chronic illness which deserves a continuum of care including prevention, treatment, and aftercare services.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $745,000.00

Awarded on: 4/30/2007

Time frame: 6/12/2006 - 10/31/2007

Grant Number: 58181


Home Box Office

1100 Avenue of the Americas
New York, 10036-6737

John Hoffman
Project Director