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SAMHSA News - May/June 2008, Volume 16, Number 3

PRISM Awards Honor Accurate Portrayals

Substance Abuse, Mental Health Issues Include Bipolar Disorder, Meth Addiction

What viewers see on television or in the movies often is what they believe to be true, especially for substance abuse and mental health issues.

The entertainment industry’s most accurate portrayals of characters facing these issues received honors at gala ceremonies for the 12th Annual PRISM Awards in Beverly Hills, CA.

The PRISM Awards, presented by the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC), in collaboration with SAMHSA and the FX Network, reflect the entertainment industry’s commitment to accuracy in depictions of addiction and health issues in film, television, music, comic books, and interactive entertainment.

PRISM Award winners included actor Ben Vereen for his portrayal on “Grey’s Anatomy.” H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, provided consultation for the episode on methamphetamine.

Drew Pinsky, M.D., received an award for his leadership in building awareness about substance abuse issues.

For more on the PRISM Awards, visit

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Television Awards

Comedy Series Episode
“The Simpsons” for “Crook and Ladder”

Comedy Series Multi-Episode Storyline
“Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” for “More Than Meets the Eye,” “Busted,” “No Money, Mo’ Problems,” “Just Say No,” and “Surprise, Surprise”

Performance in a Comedy Series
James Denton in “Desperate Housewives”

Drama Episode
“Grey’s Anatomy” for “Love/Addiction”

Performance in a Drama Series Episode
Ben Vereen in “Grey’s Anatomy”

Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline
“ER” for “Gravity,” “Under the Influence,” “The Test,” “Blackout,” “Coming Home,” “Skye’s the Limit,” and “300 Patients”

Performance in a Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline
Dave Annable in “Brothers and Sisters”
Sally Field in “Brothers and Sisters”

Daytime Drama Storyline
“One Life to Live”

TV Movie or Miniseries
Life Support

Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries
Andrea Bowen in Girl Positive
Jennie Garth in Girl Positive

Teen Program
I Won’t Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom

Children’s Program
“That’s So Raven” for “Where There is Smoke”

Talk Show Episode
“The View”

News Magazine Segment
“ESPN Outside the Lines” for “Rod Beck”

Documentary Program
The Addiction Project

Biographical Program
“E! True Hollywood Story” for “The Osbournes”

Unscripted Non-Fiction Program
“Intervention” Season 3

“Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is” for “Episode #2”

Outstanding Public Service Project
“CBS Cares”

Mental Health Depiction Award
“The Sopranos” for the episodes titled “The Second Coming” and “The Blue Comet”

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Film Awards

Feature Film: Wide Release
Georgia Rule

Feature Film: Limited Release
You Kill Me

Performance in a Feature Film
Casey Affleck in Gone Baby Gone

Bipolar Disorder Depiction Award
Michael Clayton

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Awards for Other Media

Original DVD
Bevel Up: Drugs, Users and Outreach Nursing

Music Recording
Nikki Sixx for “The Heroin Diaries”

Gracie Vandiver and Friends for “Trail of Light”

Comic Book Storyline
“These Things Ain’t Gonna Smoke Themselves”

Interactive Media

Film Festival
Bobby Dogs

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More Information

For more information on substance abuse and mental health topics, visit SAMHSA’s Web site at For more on the awards, visit the Entertainment Industries Council Web site at

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