CODAC Behavioral Healthcare and Newport County Prevention Coalition bring COAAST’s Newest Play to Troubled R.I. Communities

Performances to be held on May 6, 13, 20, and June 3

NEWPORT, R.I. (April 24, 2019) — The second act of the widely-lauded “Four Legs to Stand On” play is coming to Newport County in May and June. As the nation works to address the ongoing opioid epidemic, CODAC Behavioral Healthcare and the Newport County Prevention Coalition have banded together to sponsor Act II of the play to fuel broader conversations around addiction.

Performances of the second act are scheduled for May 6th in Middletown; May 13th at Portsmouth High School; and June 3rd at the Tiverton Public Library. All shows of Act II will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Event updates are available on the COAAST calendar here A May 20th performance has been rescheduled for the fall. 

The scheduled performances come at a time when counselors, physicians and researchers are calling for a greater emphasis on barriers to care. Most recently, researchers from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine learned that only a fraction of the estimated 2 million people with an opioid use disorder are receiving the medications they need to effectively treat their addiction. Stigma, the researchers found, remains a barrier to seeking care.

“Four Legs to Stand On, Act 2,” produced by Creating Outreach About Addiction Support Together (COAAST), addresses this issue head on. Audiences are introduced to Sam through several scenes that expose the successes of recovery and heartbreak of relapse. The performance provides a window into the relationship between patients, therapists, peers, and the disease of addiction itself. A “talk back” that asks viewers to reflect on their understanding of addiction will follow.

Ana Bess Moyer Bell, the show’s playwright and the Executive Director of COAAST, was awarded grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Trinity Repertory Company to create the follow up performance because of the first act’s impact in Rhode Island, and the sequel’s potential to promote the health of the community.

“This performance helps put a human face to the opioid crisis and it highlights the struggles that the recovery community faces,” said Linda Hurley, President/CEO of CODAC Behavioral Healthcare. “We hope these performances will help CODAC spread compassion, empathy, and understanding for the recovery community in Rhode Island and assist our communities in healing from the tragic losses left in the wake of this epidemic.”

“Newport has made significant progress in addressing the opioid crisis, but it is important to keep the momentum going,” said Rebecca Elwell, Director of the Newport County Regional Coalition. “Our team is pleased to help improve public understanding around addiction in thought-provoking ways, and we look forward to helping facilitate important conversations.”

CODAC is also bringing the original performance of “Four Legs to Stand On” to the Barrington Public Library, located at 281 County Road in Barrington, on Sunday, May 5th. The East Bay Coalition is co-sponsoring this performance.

About CODAC Behavioral Healthcare

Founded in 1971, CODAC Behavioral Healthcare is Rhode Island’s oldest and largest provider of outpatient services for opioid use disorder, other substance use disorders, and concurrent behavioral health challenges. With nine locations across Rhode Island, CODAC is uniquely positioned to provide services when and where they are needed. For more information about CODAC, visit:

About the Newport County Prevention Coalition

The Newport County Prevention Coalition, comprised of a group of voluntary members, works to embrace and promote the health and safety of all East Bay residents through education, partnerships and community collaboration. Parents, youth, law enforcement officers, school leaders, and other community partners work together to address the challenges of substance use in the region, and collaborate to create effective policies and programs. For more information, visit