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The Partnership at Drugfree.org and Outside The Wire Examine Substance Abuse in Innovative Public Health Project

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~"The Dionysus Project" Will Address the Disease of Addiction Through Theatrical Performance~

NEW YORK, April 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Partnership at Drugfree.org and Outside the Wire are collaborating to present a series of dramatic readings and town hall discussions about the disease of addiction. Supported by a generous grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, "The Dionysus Project" will tour to three communities that have been profoundly impacted by drug abuse and addiction, beginning in Appalachia (Manchester and Hazard in Kentucky) and moving to the West Coast (Los Angeles, California.)

Audiences will observe actors such as JESSE EISENBERG (The Social Network) and ADAM DRIVER (HBO's Girls) in Kentucky, and other acclaimed actors (TBA) in Los Angeles performing readings of scenes from Euripides' Bacchae, an ancient Greek play about the destructive power of intoxication. The presentation serves as a catalyst for town hall discussions on the impact of substance abuse and addiction upon individuals, families and communities that have been affected by drugs and alcohol. The reading/discussion format is intended to break down the stigma associated with substance abuse and addiction and promote healthy dialogue among diverse communities – public and professional – fostering compassion, cooperation and understanding.

"We are honored to team up with Outside the Wire, an organization that has found great success in pairing theatrical events with pressing public health issues," says Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org. "Our goal is to educate and engage participants so that they can examine their own attitudes, or even biases, toward young people struggling with addiction. We are confident that this event, part of our community education efforts, will facilitate much-needed conversation around the myths and misunderstanding that surround substance abuse. We are grateful for the grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation that will make this unique event possible."

The project uses an ancient Greek tragedy, written nearly 2,500 years ago, to engage audiences in crucial discussions about the timelessness of the human struggle with substance abuse and addiction, as well as resources and solutions that communities can utilize today.

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with The Partnership at Drugfree.org on this groundbreaking effort to engage communities across the United States in crucial dialogue about substance abuse and addiction," says Bryan Doerries, Outside the Wire's Artistic Director. "By presenting scenes from a nearly 2500-year-old play about Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of intoxication, our hope is to create a safe space for open discussions about these timeless issues, while connecting audiences with available resources and action steps toward prevention, treatment, and healing. The core message of 'The Dionysus Project' is: You are not alone in your community. You are not alone across the country and the world. You are not alone across time."

"This is an original approach to addressing drug abuse and addiction as it affects young adults and their families," said the Board of the Directors at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. "We believe this project will make an impact in educating and raising awareness of social welfare issues, as well as Hellenic culture and how it relates to modern day matters."

The Kentucky readings and town hall discussions will focus on abuse of prescription medicine – an issue that prominently affects this area – and will take place on May 3, 2012 in collaboration with Operation Unite, a nonprofit organization aimed at combating substance abuse in Kentucky. The Los Angeles event will address the link between creativity, intoxication and substance abuse and will be held in partnership with Phoenix House, a nonprofit substance abuse service organization serving the LA area. The date of the Los Angeles event is to be determined.

For more information and updates about the performances, visit The Partnership at Drugfree.org's events page.

About The Partnership at Drugfree.org
Ninety percent of addictions start in the teenage years. The Partnership at Drugfree.org is dedicated to helping families solve the problem of teen substance abuse. Bringing together renowned scientists, parent experts and communications professionals, this public health nonprofit translates research on teen behavior, parenting, addiction and treatment into useful and effective resources at drugfree.org. Its You Are Not Alone campaign is dedicated to supporting families of the 11 million teens and young adults who need addiction treatment, while the organization's community education programs reach families at the grassroots level. The Partnership at Drugfree.org's mission to help parents prevent, intervene in and find treatment for drug and alcohol use by their children dependson donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and the public sector. We are thankful to SAG/AFTRA and the advertising and media industries for their ongoing generosity.

About Outside the Wire
Outside the Wire (OTW) is a social impact company that uses theater and a variety of other media to address pressing public health and social issues, such as combat-related psychological injury, end of life care, prison reform, political violence and torture, and the de-stigmatization of the treatment of substance abuse and addiction. All OTW performances are directed, translated and facilitated by Bryan Doerries and produced by Phyllis Kaufman. For more information about OTW's projects, please visit www.outsidethewirellc.com, email info@outsidethewirellc.com or visit OTW on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheaterOfWar.

About the Stavros Niarchos Foundation
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (www.SNF.org), an international philanthropic organization, makes grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and medicine, and social welfare. While prominent in its support of Greek-related initiatives, the Foundation's activities are worldwide in scope. From 1996 until today, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has approved grant commitments of euro 948 million/$1.242 billion, through 2,115 grants to nonprofit organizations in 102 nations around the world.

 

SOURCE The Partnership at Drugfree.org



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