Spotlighting heroin’s impact on our community, the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy will present free performances of the original play “Addicted” beginning this week. Written and directed by school psychologist Christle Henzel, “Addicted” tells the story of three young adults struggling with addiction and the devastating effect of drugs and alcohol on users and those around them. This powerful drama has engaged audiences since 2015 and will be shown this year on Thursday, March 21, and Friday, March 22 at North Harford High School, 211 Pylesville Road in Pylesville, with a third showing planned for Saturday, April 6 at Mt. Zion Church, 1643 E. Churchville Road in Bel Air. All performances will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m.
“When I was 21 years old, my brother took his own life at the age of 19,” Christle Henzel said. “It was completely unexpected and it devastated our family. Jason struggled with drug addiction throughout most of his life, and it was incredibly hard on our family. When he died, I wanted to create something positive in the midst of tragedy so I wrote this play in honor of my brother. ‘Addicted’ captures the reality of drug and alcohol abuse, addiction, and the turmoil it puts everyone through. It attempts to break down stigmas, educate youth and their parents, and builds compassion and empathy for those struggling with drug and alcohol abuse.”
“Addicted” has been seen by over 5,300 people and has been used as an educational tool in high schools, colleges, churches, and the recovery community. Christle Henzel and her cast were awarded a citation by Gov. Larry Hogan in 2017. In 2018 Harford County’s Office of Drug and Control policy won the National Association of Counties’ Best in Category Award in the Arts, Cultural, and Historic Preservation category for using the play to help raise awareness, engage stakeholders and combat stigma. Also in 2018, “Addicted” was named as a resource in the national SAFE Community Public Awareness Guide.
“‘Addicted’ engages our youth by addressing issues that directly affect them and exposing the true impact on friends and family from drug and alcohol abuse,” Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said. “We are grateful for our partnership with Ms. Henzel, the North Harford High School Drama Club, Harford County Public Schools and Mt. Zion Church, which has made these performances possible.”
Performances of “Addicted” are open to the public; however, parental discretion is advised due to the play’s subject matter aimed at high school students and adults, which may not be appropriate for children under the age of 13.