Skip Navigation

Link to  the National Institutes of Health  
The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction from the National Institute on Drug Abuse Archives of the National Institute on Drug Abuse web site
Go to the Home page

National Institute on Drug Abuse -  NIDA NOTES
Volume 12, Number 5
September/October 1997

Prism Awards Recognize Accurate Portrayals of Drug Abuse and Violence In Films and TV

By Sharon Cargo, NIDA NOTES Contributing Writer

NIDA Director Dr. Alan I. Leshner joined with representatives of the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC) last spring to recognize outstanding efforts by the entertainment industry to portray drug abuse and related violence accurately in films and television programs. The occasion was the presentation of the First Annual Prism Awards in Beverly Hills, California.

"The entertainment industry can play such an important role in the accurate depiction of illegal and addictive drug abuse and its consequences."


From left, TV and radio personality Casey Kasem, actress and producer Mariette Hartley, NIDA Director Dr. Alan I. Leshner, actress Michele Lee, and Entertainment Industries Council President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Dyak participated in presentation of the 1997 Prism Awards.

For more than 10 years, NIDA has worked with the EIC to educate entertainment industry professionals about the personal and social impact of drug abuse and addiction. The EIC works with public policymakers on public health and social issues.

"The entertainment industry can play such an important role in the accurate depiction of illegal and addictive drug abuse and its consequences," says Dr. Leshner. "Our support of these awards is unquestionably the most direct action NIDA has taken to acknowledge the efforts of people in the entertainment industry to help reduce drug use and violence in society."

The Prism Awards Committee selected 50 outstanding entertainment products and efforts to receive both Awards and Commendations. Selec-tions were made in six different categories including feature films, television series episodes, television movies, television reality programs, community service efforts, and individual volunteerism by professionals in the entertainment industry.

Master of ceremonies for the event was TV and radio personality Casey Kasem. "Kids today have more pressures than ever, so it's essential that our industry give them accurate messages about the impact of drugs on their lives," he said.

The Prism Award winners included the feature film "Trainspotting," special episodes of the television series "Grace Under Fire" and "The Parent Hood," a special television drama "Drunks," an episode of the television reality program "The Geraldo Rivera Show," and "The More You Know," a public service announcement campaign for community service. ABC executive Rob Fitzpatrick received a Prism Award in recognition of his volunteer work with the Veritas Young Mothers, Infants, and Toddlers Program.

A special Prism Award, the Larry Stewart Leadership and Inspiration Award, was presented to two individuals: Dick Wolf, president of Wolf Films; and actress and producer Mariette Hartley of Maraday Productions.

Commendations also were presented to other outstanding entertainment products and efforts, including the feature films "The English Patient" and "Fargo;" and special episodes of television series such as "Frasier," "Chicago Hope," "Homicide: Life on the Streets," and "Touched by an Angel."

Although 50 entertainment products and efforts were selected by the Prism Awards Committee, literally hundreds of individuals contributed to the creation and production of those products. To recognize the contribution of these individuals to those outstanding efforts, more than 450 producers, directors, writers, actors, and other individuals were presented with Prism Awards and Commendations.

NIDA NOTES - September/October 1997

[Home Page][NIDA NOTES Index][1997 Archive Index][Index of this Issue]

Archive Home | Accessibility | Privacy | FOIA (NIH) | Current NIDA Home Page
National Institutes of Health logo_Department of Health and Human Services Logo The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) , a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Questions? See our Contact Information. . The U.S. government's official web portal