July 12, 2005 06:00 PM

Kirstie Alley and Kelly Preston are following the lead of fellow Scientologist Tom Cruise and making their own anti-drug push. Following his comments condemning psychiatry and antidepressants on the “Today” show last month, the actresses have fired off a letter to the Food and Drug Administration asking the agency to to help curb the use of prescription drugs such as Ritalin to treat ADHD.

“We can no longer sit back and let the clock tick, waiting for more deaths, suicides or people driven to violent acts by psychotropic drugs,” Alley and Preston write in their letter to the FDA.

Adds Alley: “Parents in particular have been misled about the effects of these drugs. They are highly addictive; kids are using them more than street drugs to get high.”

The actresses are, like Cruise, members of the controversial Church of Scientology, which takes a strong anti-drug and anti-psychiatry stance, and Alley and Preston are pushing for stronger warnings about the effects of Ritalin.

As for mainstream medicine’s view, many doctors agree that Ritalin is given to too many children, but “some kids benefit dramatically,” Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Dr. John Walkup told PEOPLE after Cruise’s “Today” show appearance, during which he called Ritalin “a street drug.”

Alley and Preston’s anti-drug campaigning is nothing new. Both stars have been outspoken opponents of psychiatric drugs since 1999. Alley, meanwhile, battled her own drug problem: The Fat Actress star credits Scientology with helping her kick a three-year addiction to cocaine.

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