Sesame Street tackles addiction

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PROVO — Sesame Street has brought back a character that has been seen once before! This puppet is Karli, whose mother is suffering from a drug addiction. Karli has already been introduced as a puppet in foster care, but viewers will now understand why her mother had to go away for awhile. 

The new initiative is part of the “Sesame Street in Communities” program, which offers free videos and books on various topics that target the most current and pressing needs of children.

“By showcasing this girl whose mother has an addiction, it shows other children, ‘Hey, there are other kids like you and here are some coping strategies to help deal with your mothers addiction. And you’re going to be okay,’”  said Sarah Coyne, Associate Director at BYU School of Family Life. 

“In the United States, there are 5.7 million children under age 11, or one in eight children, living in households with a parent who has a substance abuse disorder,” Sesame Workshop said in a statement.  “One in three of these children will enter foster care due to parental addiction, a number that has grown by more than 50% in the past decade.”

The show has a long history of tackling issues in a way that is more approachable to children. Sesame Street has had puppets with HIV, autism, jailed parents, explored homelesness, women’s rights and has had girls singing about loving their hair!

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