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Animated video series from Addiction Policy Forum

Updated: Mar 14, 2020

By Addiction Policy Forum

Animated video series from Addiction Policy Forum turns the science of addiction into stories that stick

Series seeks to debunk myths & misinformation surrounding the disease

Washington, DC — Addiction Policy Forum, a national nonprofit focused on implementing a comprehensive response to addiction, launched an animated video series — ADDICTION — that turns the science of addiction into stories that stick.

The series is made up of two-to-three minute educational episodes that aim to expand understanding about substance use disorders (SUDs) and debunk myths and misinformation that keep addiction from being treated like any other chronic medical condition. Despite the fact that the US has one of the highest rates of addiction in the world, public conversations around the disease often lack scientific grounding. This not only harms those struggling with SUD, but also distracts from critical considerations about much-needed solutions to the current overdose crisis and addiction as a larger public health issue.

“Most people don’t understand the science of addiction,” says president of Addiction Policy Forum president Jessica Hulsey Nickel, “it’s our job to translate what we know about this disease into stories that patients and families struggling with addiction can actually understand.”

The first three episodes of the series use animation to cover important and commonly misunderstood topics such as: how addiction changes brain function, risk factors for developing a SUD, and the levels of severity of addiction.

Each episode in the series highlights critical research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and is the result of intensive collaboration among  scientists, patients and families impacted by addiction, and the Addiction Policy Forum. There have been great strides in the field of addiction over the past two decades, The series is animated by New York-based artist Patrick Smith, former animation director for MTV hit Daria and PBS’ Blank on Blank animated series, and was recently invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture and Arts and Sciences, spanning a variety of genres and gaining national attention.

Nationwide events featuring Episodes 1 through 3 will be held throughout the summer. Film screenings are an opportunity to bring together families impacted by addiction, patients, educators, policymakers, and advocates for discussions about how to address the stigma surrounding addiction and get actionable information into the hands of patients and families who need it most. The series is available on the Addiction Policy Forum website:


About Addiction Policy Forum

Addiction Policy Forum is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2015 as a diverse partnership of organizations, policymakers, and stakeholders committed to working together to elevate awareness around addiction, and to improve programs and policy through a comprehensive response that includes prevention, treatment, recovery, and criminal justice reform. Jessica Hulsey Nickel, whose own family was devastated by addiction, is the founder of a coalition of 1,700 families impacted by substance use disorders and is available for further explanation and interviews by media.

More information on our mission and projects is available at

For Immediate Release


Addiction Policy Forum

202.969.8879 ext 727

Addiction Policy Forum is a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating addiction as a major health problem. Our national headquarters is located in Washington, DC with resources and services in every state.


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