Prime Time Viewing: How Today’s Top Television Shows Portray Addiction and Substance Use


In addition to making the headlines of major newspapers from across the country, addiction is also gaining traction on the silver screen. This season, many of our favorite TV shows are addressing substance use disorders and risky drinking or drug use. However, they often sacrifice precision for plot points. Here, we’ve provided some suggested reading to accompany three of television’s most talked about shows and help set the record straight. If you’re watching THIS IS US…In season 2, episode 12, America’s favorite family sat down for a family therapy session to address character Kevin Pearson’s addiction (played by Justin Hartley). The session begins tensely as the therapist interrogates Kevin’s mother (played by Mandy Moore) and it escalates into a full-blown confrontation between brothers Kevin and Randall Pearson (played by Sterling K. Brown). While there are many flaws in how the dramatic scene portrayed family therapy, our expert, Aaron Hogue, Ph.D., Director...

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