Alcohol Awareness Month and the Month of the Military Child


The Genesee County Prevention Coalition Promotes Substance Use Prevention During Month of the Military Child with the Help of “Talk. They Hear You.”® Campaign

By Rebecca Jadwin

The month of April includes both Alcohol Awareness Month and the Month of the Military Child. Children in military families can experience stressful events, such as deployment, moving or switching schools. These stressors may lead them to turn to alcohol or other drugs. This is why the GCPC is focusing on sharing resources from the “Talk. They Hear You.”® campaign with military families on how to help prevent underage drinking and substance use this month.

Underage drinking and substance use among America’s youth continues to be one of the nation’s most significant public health problems. An estimated 7.4 million people younger than the age of 21 reported drinking alcohol in the past month and approximately 3,300 adolescents reported trying marijuana for the first time each day.1

The “Talk. They Hear You”® campaign aims to reduce underage drinking and substance use by empowering parents and caregivers to talk with children early about alcohol and other drugs. The campaign specifically targets parents and caregivers because research shows one of the most influential factors during a child’s adolescence is maintaining a strong, open relationship with a parent.2

In 2018, the campaign released a suite of products specifically designed to encourage military parents to have these conversations. These products include multiple print public service announcements, two parent brochures, and a video public service announcement titled, “We Do Hear You.”

For more information about “Talk. They Hear You.”® and for more parent resources for preventing underage drinking and other drug use, visit www.samhsa.gov/underage-drinking/parent-resources.


1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2018). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 18-5068, NSDUH Series H-53). Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2 National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. (2004). Young children develop in an environment of relationships. Working Paper No. 1. From http://developingchild.harvard.edu/wp-content/ uploads/2004/04/Young-Children-Develop-in-anEnvironment-of-Relationships.pdf (accessed June 19, 2018)