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Posted: Thu, 19 Dec 2013 10:40 CST
Category: Behavioral Health

Does Holiday Drinking “Change You?”

The holiday season brings with it a whirlwind of family gatherings, office parties, and special dinners. Alcohol is often a part of these events and most Iowans celebrate responsibly; however, for some, holiday celebrations are an excuse to drink too much. Excessive drinking not only puts an individual and others on the road at risk should they decide to get behind the wheel, it also can ruin the holidays for those who observe the behavior. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has launched a media campaign in 23 counties targeting binge drinking prevention, with a focus on the way it can change a child’s view of their parent.

The campaign, called “Changes You,” will run through the holidays and winter months and complements the continuing “Stay Classy” and “What Do You Throw Away?” campaigns, which focus on younger adults. “Changes You” features images of how a child sees their parent after they’ve been drinking. Adults who drink too much may think the biggest impact of their behavior is a hangover the next day. These ads show the image of a drunk parent can be much more painful for a child than a parent’s headache the next day. “It’s hoped this series of television and radio ads, along with social media outreach, will bring home the toll binge drinking can take on a family,” said IDPH Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG) project director Julie Hibben. “Children who see their parents drunk never look at them the same way again.”

The “Changes You,” “Stay Classy,” and “What Do You Throw Away?” campaigns are all funded through SPF SIG and administrated by IDPH, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information about IDPH’s efforts to prevent and reduce underage and binge drinking through the SPF SIG, visit Visit and for more information on prevention efforts focused on young adults. See the attached image for an example of the “Changes You” campaign. See attached image for an example of the visual campaign.

Contact Information: Polly Carver-Kimm at (515) 281-6693

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