Dukakis Talks HBO’s “Addiction”

DukakisHe’s tan, rested and … Michael Dukakis surely gave no sign on Monday night that he was ready to jump back into politics, almost a generation after he was the Democratic nominee for President.

But at a Westwood screening of HBO’s documentary series “Addiction,” he did offer a few choice comments on the political will to solve problems of drug and alcohol addiction in the country. He said that when he was in the Massachusetts statehouse, there was a nationwide governor’s alliance to address the problems, but that now it has been all but “given a burial.” (He mentioned Mitt Romney). And during the most recent election, no gubernatorial candidate even raised the issues as a central concern, he noted.

“During the 80s, people made light of the ‘Just Say No’ campaign, but having the First Lady invested in this was deeply important,” said Dukakis, adding, “If we don’t do something about demand, nothing will happen.”

“Addiction” is a special HBO event that focuses on the problems that a wide range of addiction have had on society, with such documentarians as Barbara Kopple, Eugene Jarecki and Rory Kennedy contributing. The screening on Monday night was of a segment that concentrated on alcohol and drug abuse and the advances in medications and brain scanning that have helped in treating them.

Joining Dukakis was his wife, Kitty, who has been public about her own alcohol addiction and recovery. They are still natives of Boston, but spend the winters in Los Angeles where Michael Dukakis teaches at the UCLA School of Public Policy. Kitty Dukakis recently returned from a mission to help refugees in Africa.

Photo by Leroy Hamilton/HBO.

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