The inspiration for the entire National Addiction Awareness Complex, the Awareness Museum portion of the Expo Center will be a place where people can learn the difference between fact from fiction and discover the impact addiction has made on society, the concept from which all the other features of the Awareness Complex have sprung. With 30 permanent in-house exhibits being developed and additional “Visiting” exhibits that will keep our museum fresh for our returning guests, the Awareness Museum will explore the stigmas and myths surrounding the many forms of addiction, with its exhibits divided into four main categories:
- History Exhibits — Using literature, photos and film, the addictive nature of alcohol, opioids and other intoxicants will be documented from pre-Prohibition to the present day. Visitors will see how the rise of new, more powerful and easily accessible and affordable drugs continue to ensnare victims in the web of addiction, and will learn how addiction affects the individual, the family, the workplace and society in general. The dangers of non-drug addictions such as gambling, hoarding, inhalants, overeating and shopping/spending are included, along with more recent technology-oriented addictions such as video games, cell phone usage and the Internet.
- Science Exhibits — The physical and psychological effects of addiction will be explained, including how the brain reacts to various addictive stimuli and why it is so difficult, if not impossible, to escape the clutches of addiction on one’s own.
- Economics Exhibits — Visitors will learn how addiction and its inherent problems and costs are devastating cities and towns across the United States when they see how addiction is costing us billions of dollars every year, whether it be from hospitalization and incarceration costs or losses that stem from crime or reduced worker productivity.
- Culture Exhibits — The change in our society’s views on addiction will be demonstrated, showing how we have become more understanding and less stigmatizing of addicts and see their plight as a physiological disease. How cultures around the world view addiction will also be revealed.
Additional topics covered in the Awareness Museum will include: celebrities who have suffered or died from addiction; drug use in the military and government; legal and judicial aspects and how addiction affects the family. With the amount of information that will be presented and the variety of topics to delve into, even those who think they know all there is to know about addiction are sure to come away with more information than they already had.
You can’t visit just once! Learning is never done. There’s always more to learn and visitors will want to come back to see more. The perfect place to educate children while they are still young, the Awareness Museum will welcome schools to schedule field trips for their students. Accommodating 11,880 school trips annually would allow us to bring addiction awareness to approximately 594,000 school children each year. In our drug-free Awareness Complex, with security for our child guests a priority, you can trust the museum with your kids.