Act II of play about opioid abuse comes to Portsmouth High

‘Four Legs to Stand On’ will be presented Monday, May 13

Posted 5/10/19

PORTSMOUTH — The second act of the widely lauded “Four Legs to Stand On” play is coming to Portsmouth High School from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, May 13.

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Act II of play about opioid abuse comes to Portsmouth High

‘Four Legs to Stand On’ will be presented Monday, May 13

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — The second act of the widely lauded “Four Legs to Stand On” play is coming to the Portsmouth High School library from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, May 13.

As the nation works to address the ongoing opioid epidemic, CODAC Behavioral Healthcare and the Newport County Prevention Coalition have banded together to sponsor Act II of the play to fuel broader conversations around addiction. 

The play is free and open to the public.

The scheduled performances come at a time when counselors, physicians and researchers are calling for a greater emphasis on barriers to care. Most recently, researchers from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine learned that only a fraction of the estimated 2 million people with an opioid use disorder are receiving the medications they need to effectively treat their addiction. Stigma, the researchers found, remains a barrier to seeking care.

“Four Legs to Stand On, Act 2,” produced by Creating Outreach About Addiction Support Together (COAAST), addresses this issue head on. Audiences are introduced to Sam through several scenes that expose the successes of recovery and heartbreak of relapse. The performance provides a window into the relationship between patients, therapists, peers, and the disease of addiction itself. A “talk back” that asks viewers to reflect on their understanding of addiction will follow.  

Ana Bess Moyer Bell, the show’s playwright and the executive director of COAAST, was awarded grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Trinity Repertory Company to create the follow up performance because of the first act’s impact in Rhode Island, and the sequel’s potential to promote the health of the community.

“This performance helps put a human face to the opioid crisis and it highlights the struggles that the recovery community faces,” said Linda Hurley, president/CEO of CODAC Behavioral Healthcare. “We hope these performances will help CODAC spread compassion, empathy, and understanding for the recovery community in Rhode Island and assist our communities in healing from the tragic losses left in the wake of this epidemic.”

 “Newport County has made significant progress in addressing the opioid crisis, but it is important to keep the momentum going,” said Rebecca Elwell, director of the Newport County Regional Coalition. “Our team is pleased to help improve public understanding around addiction in thought-provoking ways, and we look forward to helping facilitate important conversations.”

For more information about CODAC Behavioral Healthcare, visit www.codacinc.org. To learn more about the Newport County Prevention Coalition, visit riprevention.org.

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