GENESEE CO. (WJRT) (10/11/2019) - The added story line just debuted this week. A Sesame Street character's Mom is struggling with a drug addiction.
Aaron Rubio with Families Against Narcotics in Genesee County is grateful the popular children's show is tackling such a tough topic.
He said it shows Sesame Street realizes how widespread addiction has become.
"I think this will help with the transition of understanding that it is a disease," he explained. "We talk about kids growing up with a parent with cancer and diabetes, now we can throw addiction out in that same realm. And that's a big thing for everybody to be able to open up and talk about it, like it's truly a disease. That'll be - have a huge impact for us going forward."
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind the iconic kid's TV show, explained the goal is to provide support for kids and their families.
They're also sharing resources which include comforting words for children in an addicted home and the right words to use when referring to addiction.
Sesame Workshop reports 1 in 8 children is living in an addicted home. That does not include children who are now in their grandparent's care or a foster home because their parent has died or is behind bars due to their addiction.
Rubio said he meets 3 to 5 new people every day in the community affected by addiction.
He's excited for the children who will get to see themselves in the Muppet character and understand it's not their fault.
"For them, it'll let them have a realization like I'm not alone and although it might be a normalcy, it's not normal so to speak and that they can have people to talk to," he said. "And to know that Sesame Street says we understand it, we see magnitude of it, we acknowledge it as a national health care pandemic and we need to address it for the sake of our children, that's very very important."
Families Against Narcotics holds monthly meetings that anyone is welcome to be a part of.
If you'd like to join them, click on the 'Related Links' section of this story.