Her manicured nails, blond hair and big hoop earrings that dust her shoulders have her ready for her close-up, yet this TV show scene has Alexandria “Allie” Severino helping her friend with some of the dirtiest work there is.
“Uh, is that a cockroach?” she asks, helping the friend clean out the trunk of a car, in preparation for a trip to drug rehab.
In her 28 years, Severino of Delray Beach has seen — and lived — just about every part of what has caused South Florida’s drug deaths to skyrocket and sober homes to proliferate.
At 17, she had faced 120 years in prison for drug dealing, but a lucky break got her sentence reduced to six years of probation.
She has been homeless and used drugs. And for most of the past 10 years, she has earned her living in one way or another in the region’s exploding drug rehabilitation industry.
Now, Severino is the co-star of “Dopesick Nation,” a new TV show on Viceland, a cable channel that debuted in 2016 under the creative direction of Spike Jonze, the filmmaker.
The show, which airs at 10 p.m. Wednesdays, takes Severino and a co-star behind shopping centers, in parks and along train tracks. They try to help recovering addicts by getting them to rehabilitation, or a place to live after drug rehab.
Interspersed with shots of the area’s beaches and luxury yachts, viewers see characters drift in and out of Severino’s orbit as she visits some of the roughest-looking areas in Palm Beach and Broward counties. Sometimes she’s summoned by phone. Other times, it’s a friend calling.
“It’s a lot about the forgotten people,” Severino said. “We’re showing what’s going on.”