NIH News Release
National Institute on Drug Abuse

Tuesday, April 13, 1999

Contact: Beverly Jackson
Sheryl Massaro
(301) 443-6245

National Institute On Drug Abuse and
Kmart Kids Race Against Drugs
Join Forces in Massive National Drug Awareness Program

Star-Studded Celebrity Line-Up Scheduled

The national kick-off of a major drug abuse education outreach effort partnering the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health, with the Kmart Kids Race Against Drugs program will take place next Thursday, April 15 in Carson, California. NIDA Director Dr. Alan I. Leshner will join national celebrities including Kmart program co-chair Kathy Ireland, actress Jaclyn Smith, singer LeAnn Rimes, CART Championship car drivers Michael Andretti and Christian Fitipaldi, Dallas Cowboy Deion Sanders, composer David Foster, and more at the kick-off of this drug awareness program.

"This new partnership between NIDA and Kmart is an essential part of our aggressive national outreach effort," said Dr. Leshner. "This is a unique opportunity to reach the nation's youth, and the adults in their lives, with special, science-based materials developed especially for them. Education and prevention are key elements in avoiding drug addiction and Kmart truly understands that."

The Carson Town Center event is one stop on an 85-city tour that will visit 650 Kmart stores raising awareness about drug abuse education over the coming months. Through the next year, Kmart will be disseminating over 500,000 copies of NIDA's award-winning Mind Over Matter materials to children and other race participants. This innovative magazine series consists of seven full-color glossy magazines that unfold into posters. The series was developed to teach middle school students about how drugs of abuse, including marijuana, opiates, stimulants, hallucinogens, inhalants, steroids, and nicotine, change the brain and body.

Kmart Kids Race Against Drugs was developed through The Kmart Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting drug abuse education and prevention.

WHAT: National Celebrity Kick-Off of Major Drug Abuse Education Outreach by Cross-Country Tour Partners, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Kmart Kids Race Against Drugs program

PARTICIPANTS: Dr. Alan I. Leshner, Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health

Event Co-Chairperson Kathy Ireland, actress Jaclyn Smith, singer Lee Anne Rimes, Formula-One champions Michael Andretti and Christian Fittipaldi, Dallas Cowboy Deion Sanders, composer David Foster and actors Bryton McClure and Michelle Trachtenburg

WHEN: Thursday, April 15, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Super Kmart, 500 Carson Town Center, Carson, CA

Following the National Celebrity Kick-Off, boys and girls ages 7 to 12 are invited to race in miniature cars on a specially designed track.

NIDA supports more than 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute also carries out a large variety of programs to ensure the rapid dissemination of research information and its implementation in policy and practice. Fact sheets on health effects of drugs of abuse and other topics can be ordered free of charge in English and Spanish, by calling NIDA Infofax at 1-888-NIH-NIDA (-644-6432) or 1-888-TTY-NIDA (-889-6432) for the deaf. These fact sheets and further information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at