Video: The Teen Addiction Epidemic

By Shoshana Davis 01/11/12

Concerned parents banded together to produce this stark documentary.

90% of users start before they're 18.

According to Collision Course: Teen Addiction Epidemic, a 27-minute documentary that examining the effects of drugs and alcohol on the developing brains of teenagers, 90% of substance abusers begin before they turn 18. “It’s not just a rite of passage or a phase,” says Kim Box, Executive Director of Pathway to Prevention, the group behind this documentary. “There are too many stories of life-ruining activities.” Two and half years ago, Box quit her job as an executive to focus on a project closer to home: She, along with Susan King and a handful of other parents dealing with substance abuse in their own families, teamed up with interventionist Ricki Townsend to launch and, sites geared to helping relatives deal with family addictions. They offer resources, first-hand accounts and even activities surrounding topics like denial. When the group met up with the Emmy award-winning team of Joyce Mitchell and Ted Ross, the documentary was born. It combines scary stats with the intense reality of different adolescents' stories. The movie is now available to all PBS stations across the nation. You can watch it here:

Watch Collision Course: Teen Addiction Epidemic on PBS. See more from ViewFinder.

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Shoshana Davis is a freelance writer living in the New York City area. You can find her on Linkedin.