Staff at MTV: Music Television created "Choose or Lose: Drug Wars," a 30-minute show that explored how the intersection of drug addiction, drug abuse and the justice system impacts young people.
The show, which premiered on MTV in October 2004. was one of 16 original programs in MTV's "Choose or Lose" series, which aired prior to the 2004 elections.
The program profiled young people who have used or dealt drugs and explored the consequences that current drug laws and policies have had on their lives. Among those profiled were:
- Demetrius, a 17-year-old who had been living on the streets and selling drugs to get by because he couldn't live at home with his crack-addicted mother.
- Tricia, a 34-year-old single mom and heroine addict who got clean and sober after court-supervised treatment.
- Robert, a 23-year-old drug dealer with two young children facing a 10-year prison sentence for selling crack cocaine to support his family.
More than 2 million viewers watched the show's premiere on October 18, 2004, according to Nielsen Media Research. After four subsequent broadcasts, the total number of viewers exceeded 9 million.