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Moyers on Addiction Picture
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Premiere: Monday, March 30, 1998; 9-10:30 p.m. (ET)  

While addiction may cause similar changes in the brains of very different people, recovery is a very individual process. Changing behavior is the aim of treatment, but there is no "one-size-fits-all" program. In this episode, Moyers visits the Ridgeview Institute, near Atlanta, to interview recovering addicts who have gathered for an annual reunion. It was here that the Moyers' oldest son, William Cope, was treated after a relapse interrupted his recovery.

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"The changes he made here saved his life," Moyers says. The program also hears from Ridgeview's medical director, Dr. Paul Earley, and records the intimate interaction of a group therapy session. At Hazelden, a pioneering treatment facility in Minnesota, Moyers interviews Patricia Owen, Ph.D., the director of research, who discusses how addiction affects the entire family.

The Moyers team also pays a visit to Project Safe, an innovative treatment program in Rockford, Illinois, that reaches out to disadvantaged mothers who are addicted and to their children, who are at increased risk of becoming addicted themselves. William White, author of PATHWAYS FROM THE CULTURE OF ADDICTION TO THE CULTURE OF RECOVERY, explains how and why successful recovery requires a supportive community for the recovering addict. Maya Hennessey, who along with White has played a key role in developing Project Safe, talks about overcoming the barriers that have kept women from receiving treatment in the past. Speaking with doctors and with recovering addicts who are trying to remain drug-free, Moyers turns finally to the most difficult part of recovery -- avoiding relapse. This is the struggle that most recovering addicts must undertake every day for the rest of their lives. According to A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied treatment outcomes for 25 years, advances in genetics, brain chemistry, and behavioral studies offer great new hopes for treatment. For helping addicts looking for treatment, he says, "this is the best of times."

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