The A&E Network, home of the critically acclaimed but controversial program Intervention, has announced a new initiative to raise awareness about addiction and recovery that will kick off with a rally on the Brooklyn Bridge on Sept. 27.
A&E's The Recovery Project will include public-service announcements (PSAs), a website, town hall meetings and other public events as part of a multiyear effort to educate the public that addiction is a treatable disease. Benjamin Bratt, Whoopi Goldberg, Russell Simmons and Christopher Lawford will be among the celebrities appearing in the PSAs; the website will include links to charities supporting addiction recovery.
The kickoff rally, expected to attract thousands of people in recovery from across the U.S., will include a human chain stretching the length of the Brooklyn Bridge. The rally is being organized in partnership with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).
“We believe that the considerable reach of A&E Network provides a powerful platform to address, head-on, this enormous public health issue and the urgent need for meaningful action,” said Bob DeBitetto, president and general manager of the A&E Network and Bio Channel. “'Intervention' served as a wake-up call to the fact that addiction is a disease pervading every aspect of our society. Nobody is immune, and everyone deserves a chance to fight for his or her recovery.”
Partners for the ongoing Recovery Project campaign include the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), NCADD, Faces and Voices of Recovery, and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.