TV Show Review: 'Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Kids in Rehab'

Perhaps the best part of Nickelodoen’s new special on teen addiction, Nick News With Linda Ellerbee: Kids in Rehab: There are none of the fetishistic shots of needles plunging into veins that TV shows about drug use, like Intervention, specialize in. Nick’s half-hour show looks at several teenagers in treatment for substance abuse—with special focus on the intoxicants kids use the most, like alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, and cough syrup. (One boy even lists cigarettes among his chemical dependencies.) There’s no preamble or arch announcement about the number of kids in drug treatment. Instead, the show dives right into the story. The downside is that there are so many participants that each gets just a few minutes to share his or her tale of going from sipping a drink at a party to landing in rehab.

Where Ellerbee and her team do right is in choosing a variety of different rehab settings to show—an outpatient facility, a no-nonsense rehab, a cushy beach setting complete with yoga and acupuncture. More than just a warning about the dangers of drugs, the special will serve as a reminder about supporting teens who try to shake free of addiction, as they talk nervously about how they’ll function once they leave the safety of rehab.

—Torie Bosch

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