Sunday, July 01, 2012

Legally Addicted

Fairmount Center for the Arts takes on the realities of prescription drug abuse

Two years ago, Fairmount Center for the Arts presented EAT IT’S NOT ABOUT FOOD. The production examined the dangerous world of eating disorders for tween and teen girls and boys. Using theatre rather than lecturing, the emotional impact was raw and unapologetic, making the pain of these eating disorders obvious.

The production was so powerful that the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders signed on as a lead sponsor and twelve community productions were presented.

This year, Fairmount Center for the Arts’ Committee for Social Relevancy, in coordination with Recovery Resources, will present and tour LEGALLY ADDICTED, a program aimed at exposing high school students, their teachers, families, and community members, to the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and its pathway to street drugs. The sessions are aimed at inner city, suburban and rural audiences.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Department of Health, in 2010, prescription drug overdoses killed 1,544 Ohioans. From 1999 to 2010, Ohio’s death rate due to unintentional drug overdoses increased 372%, driven largely by prescription drugs.

The FCA program is part of an effort by the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities, which has partnered with the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services and Cardinal Health, to battle the opiate epidemic.

LEGALLY ADDICTED is a 35-minute script written by Notre Dame College Theatre and Communication professor, Jacqi Loewy. The play will be coupled with a post-play dialogue in which experts on substance abuse and recovery from Recovery Resources and other programming partners, will lead discussions adapted to fit the audience being addressed. Advanced content materials have been prepared to help prepare students and parents for the performance. The entire approach is to speak with, not at the students and parents.

LEGALLY ADDICTED will be directed by Dustin Welch. The actors, who will be mainly teenagers, will be selected through open auditions. The show’s staging requires little in the way of technical support, as the setting is minimal.

An anonymous private funder has given a grant to help underwrite the cost of script preparation. Support of foundations and companies interested in supporting either performances or production expenses are still being sought.

Each showing costs $1000, but subsidization may be available to schools and organizations who want to present LEGALLY ADDICTED. The programs are available Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1 pm and Monday evenings from September through May.

After a series of staged readings, a full-production and discussion will be held on September 10 at the Fairmount Center. There will also be a showing at the large opiate summit to be held in the area on September 28. Segments of the production will be available on You Tube and other social media.

For more information about the production go to, For booking performances contact Lindsay Gips at 440-338-3171.