Nickelodeon's long running Nick News with Linda Ellerbee franchise is focusing on a topic that is becoming more and more prevalent on the television dial: substance abuse. The next installment of the series is called Kids in Rehab, and will focus on kids and younger teens with alcohol and drug problems.
"We live in a culture where drug use is glamorized, and celebrities may be sending a message that going to rehab is sort of like going to a spa," said Ellerbee, announcing the special. "But real rehab is no spa. Some brave kids spoke to us honestly about their drug abuse, what it's like to be a kid in rehab and what it's like to try to live clean and sober after that. And it ain't easy."
Rehab programming is also becoming more common on a number of television networks. A&E's Intervention has garnered that network ratings and critical acclaim, while VH1's Celebrity Rehab has spawned multiple spinoffs. In early October, MTV premiered Gone Too Far, which features Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein talking to young people with substance abuse problems. Goldstein died earlier this year of an apparent drug overdose.
Nick News has never shied away from controversial topics in its 19 years on the channel, often choosing to approach them with full force. The series has tackled the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and President Clinton's impeachment, among other controversial topics.
Kids in Rehab is slated for Sunday, October 18 at 8 p.m.