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New MTV Show Explores Teen Addictions

It’s a sad fact, but addictions are still just as common among high school students as they ever were. And with issues like COVID-19 and universal quarantining, those habits may be on the rise in 2020. Mental health, of course, is a big contributor to teen dependencies and it’s a topic that’s being explored in a new MTV documentary series called 16 and Recovering.


Broken into four parts, 16 and Recovering follows a series of student attending Northshore Recovery High School in Boston, Massachusetts. Cameras were able to capture many intimate moments among the classmates, all of whom had battled substance abuse issues in the past. Teachers play a big role in the show too, offering support and counseling to those struggling to stay clean.


Northshore had a particularly rough year and many of its most emotional moments were captured by the MTV film crew. Tragically, eight members of the school community died over the past 24 months due to overdosing.


Northshore’s school director, Michelle Lipinski, is prominently featured throughout the series and spoke to a local Boston outlet about her program.


“Definitely for me and for my staff, and for my students and their families, one of the benefits of this being filmed [is] being able to normalize these addictions,” Lipinski told “I want people to walk away and think differently and think, what can I do? For me, it just felt that somebody had to tell the story. I didn’t share it because it was brave, I felt it was necessary. We had to tell the story.”


The show itself is being handled with quite a bit of care. Not only do they have a skilled MTV crew capturing the setting, there were also recovery advisors on set and producers from The Artemis Rising Foundation, which has years of experience tackling important social issues.


Lipinski and her program actually got into the mainstream media radar thanks to a viral TED Talk she conducted back in 2012. In it, she described the devastating impact addictions are having on young people and her recovery awareness efforts. Now her efforts are getting broadcast to even wider audience, thanks to the show.


To help promote the launch, MTV has launched 16 and Recovering website with information on the show and addiction support links. As you can see in their preview clip below, the series will undoubtedly have many emotional moments. However, recovery can certainly lead to happy endings and, as the trailer reveals, we are hopeful that the students profiled will be set on a path to success.


16 and Recovering premieres this week on MTV. You can watch their full preview clip below…