Captain America says Some moms and dads who drink too much are alcoholics, and they have a disease called alcoholism.

Super Heroes with a Serious Message

By Jeffrey S. Reznick

National Library of Medicine #A026069
Captain America and the National Association for Children of Alcoholics
National Library of Medicine #A026069

More than a colorful image of the Marvel Comics superhero Captain America, this poster offers a serious public health message: “Some moms and dads who drink too much are alcoholics, and they have a disease called alcoholism. If you want to learn more … ask someone you trust.”

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics produced this series of posters in the late 1980s, with support from The Pew Charitable Trusts and in cooperation with the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Substance Abuse Prevention. Today, about 18 million adult Americans are alcoholics or have alcohol problems. With this fact in mind, and to recognize this week (February 8-14. 2014) being the internationally-recognized Children of Alcoholics Week, we re-present these posters as more than mere artifacts of popular culture: they remind us of the importance of reaching and promoting bravery, strength, and resilience among children and youth living in families with alcoholism. To this end, check out these valuable resources from our colleagues at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

While we have these posters in our historical collections and know some general background about their history, we do not know how they came to be produced in cooperation with the Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc., or whether any similar materials were developed. If you might know this information, we would love to hear from you either through our comments feature or via NLM Customer Support.

Portrait of Jeffrey S. Reznick in the HMD Reading RoomJeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, is Chief of the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine.

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