ABERDEEN, Md. – In February 2007, the Department of Defense originally launched the YouCanQuit2 educational campaign, now aligned with the Defense Health Agency, with the mission of helping service members and their loved ones quit tobacco. The DOD, DHA and military service components acting on direction from Congress also recognized a need to develop educational campaigns encouraging responsible drinking for service members who choose to drink, Own Your Limits, and most recently, a campaign discouraging the use of illicit drugs and encouraging the responsible use of prescription drugs, Too Much to Lose. These three campaigns now work in concert and serve as a resource for service members and their families, health prevention professionals and health care providers.
“I believe these three education campaign web sites, along with our social media engagement and stakeholder outreach programs, are critical in supporting the DOD’s efforts to build and sustain a ready and resilient joint force,” said Laura Mitvalsky, Health Promotion and Wellness division chief for DHA-Public Health.
Here is a short description of each campaign site’s mission and focus:
YouCanQuit2: The mission of the campaign is to help service members quit tobacco—for themselves and their loved ones.
- We Support Service Members: Service members balance demanding jobs where maintaining mission readiness is key. Our goal is to give service members the information, motivation and support to stay or become tobacco free for themselves, their families and their units.
- We Support Friends and Family Members of Service Members: Someone trying to quit tobacco is more likely to be successful when they have a strong support network. We equip friends, spouses, coworkers and family members with the tools they need to help someone they know quit tobacco and stay quit for good.
- We Support Health Professionals and the Services: Health professionals, tobacco cessation facilitators and health educators provide programs and support to service members that are critical in helping tobacco users quit successfully. We’re here to support health professionals and health promotion coordinators for each Service on this mission by providing resources they can use to educate and support Service members or enhance tobacco cessation programs they already have in place.
Own Your Limits: The mission of the campaign is to help service members learn how to drink responsibly, if they choose to drink alcohol.
- We Support Service Members: Service members balance demanding jobs where maintaining mission readiness is key. For service members who choose to drink, being able to set personal drinking limits based on risks of drinking too much and knowing how to ‘own their limits’ is important to maintaining mission readiness. Our goal is to give Service members the information and motivation they need to make responsible choices when drinking alcohol, which includes sticking to moderate and safe drinking limits.
- We Support Friends and Family Members of Service Members: We provide friends, spouses, coworkers and family members with the information and resources they need to talk to their Service member about alcohol use concerns.
- We Support Professionals and the Services: We’re here to support these professionals for each Service on their mission to educate Service members on the importance of drinking alcohol responsibly. Professionals include healthcare providers, those providing alcohol and drug prevention and education efforts at military commands world-wide, health educators and many others. We provide information and resources that complement existing programs to help promote responsible drinking and to support those who have concerns on alcohol use. We are here to help Service members ‘own their limits.’
Too Much To Lose: The mission of the campaign is to inform service members on the facts and risks related to prescription drug misuse and illicit and prohibited drug use including marijuana, hemp and CBD that can impact their health, career and overall well-being.
- We Support Service Members: Service members have demanding jobs. Understanding prescription drug misuse as well as illicit and prohibited drug use and how it impacts self and career is important to maintaining military readiness. Our goal is to give Service members information and tools so they can be informed about risky drug use including substances that may be available in their communities, but prohibited for them to use.
- We Support Friends and Family Members of Service Members: We provide friends, spouses, coworkers and family members with the information they need to support a service member who may be struggling with risky drug use.
- We Support Professionals and the Services: Professionals, such as health educators and those providing alcohol and drug prevention efforts at military commands worldwide, deliver programs and support to Service members that are critical to educating them about prescription drug misuse and illicit and prohibited drug use. We support professionals across the Services and provide information and resources that complement existing programs.
“No matter if you’re a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Guardian, or Marine, you have the resources to help you learn more about the negative effects of tobacco, alcohol, and prescription drugs, and to make better-informed decisions,” said Corey Fitzgerald, DCPH-A public health social worker.
Here are a few key observances for the campaigns through the end of the year:
- Substance Abuse Prevention Month (October) – Own Your Limits, Too Much to Lose
- Great American Smokeout (Nov. 16) – YouCanQuit2
- National Impaired Driving Prevention Month (December) – Own Your Limits, Too Much to Lose
The Defense Health Agency supports our Nation by improving health and building readiness–making extraordinary experiences ordinary and exceptional outcomes routine.
NOTE: The mention of any non-federal entity and/or its products is for informational purposes only, and not to be construed or interpreted, in any manner, as federal endorsement of that non-federal entity or its products.