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Program Uses Theater To Promote Drug Abuse Screening

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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.

Actress Debra Winger is in Washington, D.C. this weekend to help educate health care providers through the Addiction Performance Project, which aims to promote drug abuse screening at the doctor's office.

Today, members of the American Psychological Association can attend a reading of the play "Long Day's Journey Into Night," which depicts a family struggling with addiction.

Debra Winger plays a woman in denial about her morphine dependence.

Dr. Paul Christo, who works at Johns Hopkins Hospital, spoke after Friday's performance. He says addiction can happen to anyone, including other doctors he's known.

"It really can destroy them as a person and lead to a huge amount of loneliness," says Christo.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates only 11 percent of addicts seek medical treatment.

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