The Sesame Workshop component of the Sesame Street franchise is tackling the opioid epidemic via the backstory of a character named Karli, known as a friend of Elmo's.

Through multiple online segments, per The Hollywood Reporter, Karli opens up about her mother's path to recovery using terminology that was "carefully considered" due to the typical age of Sesame Street viewers.

In one sequence, Karli is joined onscreen by Salia Woodbury, a 10-year-old girl whose parents are said to be in recovery.

"My mom was having a hard time with addiction and I felt like my family was the only one going through it," Karli tells Salia in one scene. "But now I've met so many other kids like us. It makes me feel like we're not alone."

"Even a parent at their most vulnerable—at the worst of their struggle—can take one thing away when they watch it with their kids, then that serves the purpose," Sesame Workshop senior content manager Kama Einhorn told THR.


The production team notes that they prefer words like "addiction" and "recovery" to "substance abuse" and "sobriety," with research showing they paint a more clarified picture of the issue for young viewers.

The classic educational program is known for tucking in crucial societal issues into its storylines, an admirable pattern that most recently includes homelessness and autism awareness.