MTV is bringing back its 16 And franchise with 16 and Recovering, a four-part docuseries about adolescent addiction to mark National Recovery Month. The docuseries hails from Emmy-nominated Steve Liss and Regina K. Scully of the Artemis Rising Foundation and premieres on September 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
16 and Recovering follows nine students at Northshore Recovery High School in Beverly, MA, where teens work to recover from drug addictions while earning their diplomas. Principal and founder Michelle Lipinski founded the school in order to create a safe and supportive community, while placing a high value on education and accountability.
The docuseries follows MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, which helped reduce teen pregnancy to record lows, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
In the limited series, audiences will follow students and families’ paths to recovery as they are guided by faculty members who have gone through their own experiences with addiction. The students’ experiences also provide a window into the complexities of treatment, including healthcare coverage and financial barriers, and the difficulties of navigating the judicial system.
MTV, in collaboration with leading experts in recovery and addition, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a part of the National Institutes of Health, will launch in conjunction with the docuseries’ premiere, 16andrecovering.com, a website that will provide information and resources to better understand treatment options and the complexities of the addiction and recovery system.
“As this generation comes of age into a society facing an opioid epidemic, we believe the power of storytelling – and collaboration with experts like NIDA and Michelle – will be a wake-up call for audiences, parents and community to break the stigma, foster empathy and expand access to treatment for young people,” said Chris McCarthy, President of ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group.
“It has been a privilege to earn the trust of Michelle and these remarkable teens who bravely share their journeys and demonstrate such extraordinary resilience as they work to overcome addiction,” said Nina L. Diaz, President and Chief Creative Content Officer, ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group. “We are honored to bring their powerful stories to the forefront.”
“When I opened Recovery High, my goal was to create a community for students to safely recover from addiction,” said Lipinski. “I’m grateful to partner with MTV in order to tell this story of resilience and showcase that recovery is possible with the right community. I hope we can be a model of other schools and communities who are addressing this issue.”
“Principal Michelle Lipinski and the students of Recovery High School instilled their trust in me, granting unprecedented access into their lives and allowing this docu-series to showcase the pain of teenage addiction and the joy of recovery,” said Liss. “I’m grateful that MTV is reviving this franchise with 16 and Recovering and is taking on one of the most critical issues today facing young people and their families.”
16 & Recovering is directed by Liss, who executive produces alongside Devin Amar for Scheme Engine, Regina K. Scully and the Artemis Rising Foundation and The LEF Foundation. Lily Neumeyer and Benjamin Hurvitz are executive producers for MTV.