COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest information from CDC ( | NIH Resources | NIDA Resources

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

If you were the producer of a crime show on TV, and your police officer character was a chain smoker, how would you write the scene where he chases a criminal down the street? A chain smoker would probably be winded, because of less lung room. So you’d show him panting and out of breath. As noted in NIDA’s Drugs: Shatter the Myths booklet, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use are often depicted in popular entertainment and media. And because TV and movies can influence what people think and believe, the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc., the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and FX have teamed up to host the 15th Annual PRISM Awards. This nationally televised awards show recognizes actors, movies, music, media, and TV shows that “accurately depict and bring attention to substance abuse and mental health issues, including prevention, treatment, and recovery.”

The PRISM Awards recognize people in the creative world who “tell it like it is,” showing the reality of important health issues and increasing awareness. Winners are chosen based on entertainment value, accessibility of the message about substance abuse or mental health issues, and scientific accuracy.

So who’s doing a good job of depicting substance abuse and mental health issues? This year’s PRISM nominees include the movie Iron Man 2 and the prime-time television series, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Drop Dead Diva, The Vampire Diaries, and Degrassi: The Next Generation. Nominees also include reality shows and documentaries such as Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, Intervention, MTV’s If you Really Knew Me, and VH1’s Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

(Video removed due to privacy setting.)

So, mark your calendar: the 15th Annual PRISM Awards will take place on April 28, 2011. To read more about the PRISM awards and to see a complete list of this year’s nominees, visit

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.