MTV has never been a stranger to creating reality TV shows about teen struggles such as the long-running 16 and Pregnant. On September 1st, the beginning of National Recovery Month, the brand-new series 16 and Recovering premiered to showcase the lives of students and families on the path of recovery, guided by high school faculty members. 16 and Recovering should help teach viewers about people who are struggling with recovery, as well as the courage of telling your own story.

The Plot of 16 and Recovering 

16 and Recovering is a four-part documentary series that takes place in Northshore Recovery High School in Massachusetts, a school designed to help those in recovery while passing high school. Nine of the school’s students are followed in the series, as we see their triumphs and challenges throughout the school year. The show is about overcoming substance abuse while also just trying to be a regular teenager. MTV has also launched to provide resources, start conversations, and help viewers better understand addiction. 

How 16 and Recovering Can Break the Stigma of Addiction

According to Northshore’s school director, Michelle Lipinski, one in 10 students struggle with addiction, which means that in a school of a thousand students, on average, 100 of them will go through addiction. They probably will not finish high school, or they will need serious intervention once they reach early adulthood. Lipinski feels like no one is talking about these startling statistics. 

The series includes the announcement of a student who died of an overdose and the students’ reactions to it. With everything Lipinski knew about drug overdoses, she felt like it was her responsibility to tell these stories of teens struggling with addiction. She noticed that students with substance abuse disorder were ostracized by their friends and under a lot of stress. This gives the school staff the opportunity to be heroes to these children.

What You Can Get Out of Watching 16 and Recovering

Lipinski hopes that when people watch the show, they think of someone who was struggling with addiction who did not get help. Instead of incarceration being thought of as the solution, we should intervene with recovery. School districts still have the power to intervene and help these students get into treatment without having to be a recovery high school. 16 and Recovering can affect change in teenagers struggling with drug addiction, and can hopefully encourage more to be done to save lives.


Being a teenager can be tough, especially if you are tackling drug addiction while attempting to pass high school. If left untreated, starting drug use at a young age could mean that you continue this unhealthy habit as you go on into adulthood. The world is full of so many pressures and obstacles as it is. You should not have to worry about staying clean when you should be thinking about which college you want to get into. You do not have to go through your drug or alcohol recovery alone. Alta Loma is here to help you, as we help men of all ages lead a successful recovery. With personalized plans to fit your needs and a number of resources, we are confident you can leave our treatment facility leading an actively sober life. We offer residency up to 24 months, individualized therapy, 12-Step programs, therapeutic recreational activities, and more. Please give us a call today at (866) 457-3843.