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Program 1: PORTRAIT OF ADDICTION
Premiere: Sunday, March 29, 1998; 9-10 p.m. (ET)

The series begins with testimony from the real experts -- recovering addicts. Through a montage of intense interviews with nine people from various walks of life, this first program brings viewers face-to-face with the pain of addiction and the possibility of recovery. Each person has had a unique experience with a range of addictive substances -- from cocaine and heroin to alcohol and tobacco.
 

Movie link: Portrait of Addiction

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Despite their differences, however, all have gone through a similar cycle of experience -- from the first, ecstatic rush of a drink or drug, to "falling in love" with the sensation, to the realization that the pleasure has turned to pain and the frequent use into a compulsive, obsessive hunger for a chemical fix. Through the candid testimony of people who have been there, PORTRAIT OF ADDICTION leaves little doubt that addiction can happen to anyone. For any who have not encountered addiction before, the hour is a frank and absorbing introduction. And for any who have wrestled with addiction, it is a discovery that they are not alone and that recovery is possible.

The individuals interviewed in PORTRAIT OF ADDICTION are: Kim, a former police officer and the author of the novel RUSH; Ray, former New York City "drug czar" and current director of Samaritan Village; Peggy, a marketing specialist who is also a mother of three and grandmother of six; Allen, founding director of Playing to Win, an organization that provides computer access to inner city residents; David, a social chronicler and columnist; Louis, founder of Stand-Up Harlem, a community of HIV-positive addicts and ex-addicts; Wendy, a counselor at Hazelden New York; Daniel, an actor; and Maia, a journalist who served as series researcher for CLOSE TO HOME.
 

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