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Program Uses Theater To Educate Doctors About Treating Addiction

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Actress Debra Winger talks with Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, before heading onstage for the Addiction Performance Project.
Jessica Palombo
Actress Debra Winger talks with Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, before heading onstage for the Addiction Performance Project.

Academy Award-nominated actress Debra Winger is in D.C. this weekend to help educate health care providers through the Addiction Performance Project, which aims to get doctors to screen their patients for drug abuse.

Medical professionals attended a reading of the play "Long Day's Journey Into Night," which depicts a family struggling with addiction. At the National Institutes of Health on Friday, Debra Winger played a morphine addict trying to hide her problem.

"The reality is that addiction can occur at any age and to any one of us," says Doctor Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which funds the project.

She says almost 23 million Americans are addicted to drugs or alcohol but only 11 percent receive treatment.

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