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Drugs: True Stories


Abuse of alcohol and marijuana led Joel to prescription painkillers. Joel and his family describe addiction, denial, and recovery. Trevor finds support to avoid drug use. H. Westley Clark, M.D., SAMHSA, and Howard Shaffer, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, answer FAQ. 28 minutes. Recommended for grades 5 through college, parents, and other caregivers. Discussion Guide available on the DVD or can be downloaded here.

Drugs: True Stories is listed in the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP), a service of SAMSHA, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. View excerpt:



We offer half-day and full-day trainings in the best use of Drugs: True Stories. Read here.

What People Are Saying...

“Drugs: True Stories is a brilliantly produced and very hopeful piece. It illustrates very nicely the progression that goes with addiction.”
Richard Falzone, M.D., Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School

“Drugs: True Stories is emotionally engaging and scientifically accurate. Congratulations on a job well done.”
Diane Barry, Director of Communications, Health and Human Development Programs, EDC



Institutional use/Group viewing

Drugs: True Stories and Words Can Work: When Talking About Drugs were released at an Educational Forum at the Massachusetts State House.

Read what people are saying about our Educational Forum.

Read the transcript of our Educational Forum.

What people are saying:
“Drugs: True Stories helps young people and parents understand the dangers associated with the misuse of drugs. The true stories illuminate issues that are essential for everyone to understand: there are real risks and hazards associated with using drugs; these drugs can adversely affect the brain; and, that it is possible to prevent drug misuse. The program demonstrates the powerful denial that can surround drug abuse - on the part of the users and those around them. It’s a resource that can help families and communities prevent drug misuse and reduce the harms that often associate with even casual use.”Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D., C.A.S, Director. Division on Addictions, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School


“Drugs: True Stories is a brilliantly produced and very hopeful piece. It illustrates very nicely the progression that goes with addiction.” Richard Falzone, M.D., Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School


“Drugs: True Stories is emotionally engaging and scientifically accurate. Congratulations on a job well done.” Diane Barry, Director of Communications, Health and Human Development Programs, EDC


“Drugs: True Stories is a powerful tool to stimulate discussion among school age youth - and adults- about drugs. As part of our city-wide initiative to reduce risk behaviors and injuries associated with drug use, Drugs: True Stories will be presented in the classroom and in teacher and nurses trainings, and parent meetings.”Sarah O'Donnell, RN, MPH, Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Unified Student Services, Boston Public Schools


“I wish to applaud your efforts on providing this exceptional tool to help educate students and parents on this issue. To often educational video’s educate individuals on “how to get high” versus highlighting the serious consequences. Your DVD clearly provides both youth and parents with necessary information without crossing the line.” Preventions Specialist and Program Coordinator, Project Northland, Melrose Middle School


"I use Drugs: True Stories every year in my DARE program for 7th grade students. This is one of the best videos that I have come in contact with, the kids can really relate to the realism of what the people in the video are going through and after they watch the video there really seems to be a change of understanding the consequences of using drugs. The video sparks a lot of conversation amongst the students." Deputy Ryan Emahiser, Wood County Sheriff's Office, School Resource Officer Otsego Schools



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