Richard Dreyfuss Speaks on Substance Abuse

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In the battle against drug addiction, many believe we're losing, but agencies like Rosecrance Substance Abuse Center continue the fight, and Monday night Academy Award winning actor Richard Dreyfuss is joining them.

He played the part of a psychologist in What About Bob. He was music instructor in Mr. Holland's Opus, but Monday night, Richard Dreyfuss plays a different role: a recovering drug addict, but this isn't a movie; this is real life.

"I was an unlivable guy. I was a bully and a yeller and I wasn't very nice," says Dreyfuss.

The Oscar Award winning actor will share his struggles and experiences as a recovering addict with nearly 900 people at Giovannis. It's a fundraiser for Rosecrance Substance Abuse Treatment Center.

"Someone of that stature can maybe get through, provide a little bit of insight that will be inspiring to the young people and give them strength through his story to help them deal with their problems," says Thomas Furst, Rosecrance Foundation chair.

It's so easy, Dreyfuss says, to chalk someone up as pathetic or as a waste for being a drug addict, but Dreyfuss says we know him. We know he's not a waste, and he says don't forget he too was a drug addict.

"It's important for you to remember that the next time you see some guy on the street, because there's a lot more to him than that perception," says Dreyfuss.

Dreyfuss says he has no set message for Monday night. He says he tells the truth, and if there's something to be learned from that, then so be it.

Before deciding to speak for Monday night’s fundraiser, Dreyfuss says he had heard about Rosecrance and its successful efforts in the fight against drug addiction. The event is sold out.