The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recognizes that no one better understands the pressures that adolescents face related to drugs and alcohol better than teens themselves (Read How to Talk to a Teen about Drugs). For this reason, in anticipation of National Drug Facts Week (October 31 through November 6, 2011), NIDA has joined forces with other non-profit organizations for the second year in a row to encourage young adults to creatively express their opinions on the alcohol- and drug-related issues that they face on an everyday basis through music and/or video.

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Which organizations are sponsoring the competition?

The three groups that are involved are MusiCares, the GRAMMY Foundation, and NIDA. MusiCares provides emergency assistance to those in the music industry, especially in situations that could compromise an individual's health and well-being. MusiCares has sponsored medical and dental clinics and assisted performers and composers with other personal issues. Established in 1989, the GRAMMY Foundation seeks to advance the status of recorded music in American popular culture. It attempts to raise awareness of issues facing art and music education, seeks to preserve American musical heritage, and encourages future generations of musicians by fostering understanding and appreciation in the public. NIDA is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); its mission is to better our collective understanding of drug abuse and addiction through scientific and medical channels by funding research and offering educational materials at meetings and on its website.

What are the rules for entering?

Submissions on CDs or DVDs must be original works and performed by the entrants; they should be no longer than 3 minutes. Participants must be U.S. citizens or legally recognized residents and have the permission of their parents to participate. The information about drugs must be scientifically accurate. Collaboration is allowed, but teams can have no more than 2 individuals working together. Individuals will also be required to provide information about themselves, why they wanted to participate, their inspiration for the video or song, and consent forms that can be obtained from the official website. The last day for submitting an entry is October 10, 2011. More detailed information can be found at http://drugfactsweek.drugabuse.gov/contest.php.

What are the prizes?

The first, second, and third place winners receive cash prizes of $500, $250, and $100, respectively, sponsored by a Malibu teen treatment center. Winning entries will be put on the GRAMMY 365 website, and winners will also be acknowledged with a certificate. Additionally, the first place winner and a chaperone will be invited to have a back-stage experience during a rehearsal for the 54th GRAMMY awards, which will be held in Los Angeles, California in January 2012.

What else is NIDA doing to raise awareness of drug abuse and addiction in America?

In addition to supporting research and disseminating related information on its website, NIDA is also currently encouraging dialogue among physicians about treating addicted patients through theatrical performances.