How Theater Brings the Reality of Addiction to Life

[How theater brings the reality of addiction to life:] [Dr. Nora Volkow] What we’re trying to do with the Addiction Performance Project is to be able to engage the public
with a recognition at an emotional level of what it is to be addicted. The suffering for the person and the suffering that person creates on those that he or she loves. So it’s a way of creating for a short period of time to able to immerse the person of what
it must be like to be addicted. Or to be in a family where someone is addicted. What does it feel like? [Blythe Danner] It is a monkey on your back. I think it’s just so difficult to shake it and it just reassures the negative feelings one has about one’s self. You know, she’s full of self-loathing and it’s very sad. It’s very hard. It’s hard to do. It’s hard to watch this character just dissertate not only herself, but her family. And I gather that this is what goes on often. It may not be exactly the same kind
of thing, but it’s not pretty. [Bryan Doerries] Here’s a very dark subject. Here’s a really nasty case study about addiction disorder. Now what are we going to do about it? How much has changed in the last hundred years? What have we learned scientifically that will enable and empower physicians of every rank and other caregivers to do right by these patients? How do we protect ourselves and our patients from the moral judgement and the stigma attached with addiction? [National Institute on Drug Abuse,, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services]

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