their community to conquer theiraddictions.
The point is driven home in banterbetween two 20-somethingcharacters in the first of threeepisodes in Life Coach. Alex andTerry are worried their buddy Joe,an addict in recovery for severalyears, is having a tough time dealingwith being laid off from work andsuddenly becoming single. Joe calmlybut firmly refuses Alex’s offer tobecome his life coach.
Alex: Listen, man, I get it. In highschool I was addicted to MountainDew. And remember that time incollege, I was totally addicted tonapping. I just had to take a nap allthe time.
Joe: For the record, none of thoseare addictions. There’s a differencebetween doing something too muchand having something take over yourlife and literally change your brain.
In the second episode of LifeCoach, Alex creates a bee-infestedstress course thinking this will helpJoe overcome addiction. Joe turnsthe table and challenges Alex touse his willpower to complete thecourse. In the third episode, Alex andTerry kidnap Joe. This time Alex isconvinced Joe will be able cure hisaddiction by “fighting for his life.”Joe again has to patiently redirect hisfriends’ out-of-sync views.
The AFWI has produced the wackybut serious and educational spotsespecially for young men from 17to 35, who tend to see addiction assomething that can be “fixed” witha quick attitude adjustment. Theproject also hopes to break down thebarriers that keep many people fromseeking help for addiction.
“People in general and young
men in particular are reluctant to
ask for help with substance and
process abuse and addiction,” says
the AFWI’s Marisa Etmanski, an
executive producer of Life Coach.
“We want to encourage them to learn
more about how addictions form
and how they can be prevented and,
through different support systems,
can be treated.”
Life Coach recently debuted at the
University of Calgary. The stress of
campus life can lead many young
adults to use drugs and alcohol to
relieve stress, anxiety or depression.
Substance abuse in the first year ofuniversity or college can set a patternthat increases the risk of mentalhealth problems, mental illness,suicide and addiction.
— Terry Bullick
See the Life Coach video series at:addictionbrainstory.org.