Budget Includes Funding for South Shore Teen Drug Program

theaterPLYMOUTH – The Massachusetts Fiscal Year 2015 Budget passed today and $50,000 was included to fund a drug treatment and prevention program for South Shore teenagers.

Rep. Vinny deMacedo, R-Plymouth, added the funding for the Drug Story Theater.

“We must attack and reverse the dramatic increase in substance abuse and opiate overdoses that are ruining lives and ravaging families here on the South Shore, throughout the Commonwealth and across the nation,” deMacedo said. “No community is immune and every socioeconomic stratum is impacted.”

The Drug Story Theater provides treatment for teenagers fighting drug and alcohol addiction while informing future generations of the dangers of drug use.

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Through the program, teens will work with professional improvisational actors and behavioral professionals to write and perform real-life stories about the seduction, addiction and recovery from drugs and alcohol.

“We must reach our teenagers before they fall victim to the devastating effects of substance abuse,” said deMacedo. “The Drug Story Theater of the South Shore Pilot Program is an innovative and cost-effective method to treat those working to recover while preventing teenagers from using and becoming addicted to drugs.”

The Drug Story Theater program was introduced to deMacedo by Dr. Joseph Shrand.

“The vast majority of treatment targets the end user,” said Shrand. “Drug Story Theater is designed to help kids in the early stages of recovery craft a message so that other kids never even start.”

Shrand notes that one in 25 people that start using drugs or alcohol after turning 21 are at risk of life long addiction and if a person starts using before the age of 18, that number increases to one out of four.

“Who better to get the message across than kids in recovery themselves,” said Shrand.

The slogan of Drug Story Theater is “the treatment of one becomes the prevention of many.”