On Thursday, May 3rd, Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) joined Operation UNITE, The Partnership at Drugfree.org, the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, and Outside the Wire in Manchester, Kentucky for the kick-off of The Dionysus Project, an innovative nation-wide public health initiative aimed at the drug abuse epidemic.
More than 275 people filled Eastern Kentucky University's Robert Stiver's Building on the Manchester Campus to watch Hollywood celebrities like Jesse Eisenberg from The Social Network and Adam Driver from HBO's Girls, and Broadway stars like Kathleen Chalfant and Peter Frances James perform scenes from Euripides' Bacchae, an ancient Greek play about the destructive power of intoxication.
"It shows that human nature has not changed in 2,500 years," said Rogers. "People are still enticed by intoxicants and lose their way in life, and that is a modern story. Thanks to UNITE, we have been diligent in our grassroots battle against the drug epidemic, but it's great to have celebrities from Hollywood and Broadway who can draw the attention of young people to the dangers of drug abuse, especially the prescription drugs that are available in our medicine cabinets."
Following the presentation, Rogers joined panelists State Senator Robert Stivers (R-25), Melanda Adams of Clay Countians UNITED, and Debra Anderson from the Baptist Regional Medical Center for a town hall discussion about the impact of substance abuse and addiction in southern and eastern Kentucky. Several community members shared their stories of recovery and the desire to be more proactive in community anti-drug efforts.
During the discussion, Rogers presented Senator Robert Stivers with an award of appreciation for championing Kentucky legislation on substance abuse this year.
"Senator Stivers is a true champion in the war on drugs," said Rogers. "He revived key legislation to strengthen our laws against pill mills and to further limit the availability of the main ingredient in meth, pseudoephedrine."
The celebrities also took The Dionysus Project to the Perry County Public Library in Hazard, Kentucky where nearly 200 people were in attendance.
Click here to view photos from the Manchester presentation of the The Dionysus Project.
Rogers has served Kentucky's 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia's natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information visit www.halrogers.house.gov or join Rogers on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/CongressmanHalRogers or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/RepHalRogers.