The OC You Don't See on TV
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Want the real story on what's happening in Orange County? Just a warning: it's not as pretty as it may look on the outside. The acclaimed documentary Behind The Orange Curtain focuses on the teenage prescription drug epidemic in that beautiful and wealthy enclave known as The O.C. (watch the trailer here). The movie is a passion project that executive producer and local mother Natalie Costa launched after 17-year-old Dana Hills High School student Mark Melkonian died of a prescription pill overdose; it will premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival on May 2. Newport Academy founder Jamison Monroe, another producer on the film and a former addicted teen himself, says that "while addiction is never limited to a certain tax bracket, there is something about the extreme levels of affluence, entitlement and denial in Orange County that create the perfect environment for addiction to thrive in both the adolescent and adult communities." Monroe adds, "The sad reality is that while Orange County has the resources to solve almost any problem, a staggering amount of the collective wealth is spent on hiding the truth about addiction—not on addressing it and finding an effective solution. Behind The Orange Curtain is a great step forward and will hopefully help lead people out of the problem and into the solution."