Alcohol sales have spiked during the past month. It has long been acknowledged that Scotland has an ‘unhealthy relationship with alcohol’. Too much drinking carries with it heavy personal, economic, health and societal costs. The combination of being home-bound, feeling extraordinary stress or fear, as well as the cultural tendency to turn to both sex and alcohol for comfort and relief makes increasingly risky behaviour a near certainty.

One example of predictable ‘collateral damage’ from the current pandemic will be a significant rise in the cases of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) across Scotland.

Alcohol exposure in utero is the world’s leading cause of neurodevelopmental (brain and nervous system) damage, learning disabilities and behavioural problems. FASD cannot be cured, reversed or outgrown, as it permanently compromises lives and life chances, e.g. by school failure, substance abuse, as well as being troubled and in trouble.

In fact, FASD is invisible in 90 per cent of the people affected and can be difficult to confirm, which means it is often misdiagnosed or simply overlooked – for instance,  while the Scottish Government estimates that approximately 172,000 children, young and adults across Scotland are currently affected, there are between 500 and 1,000 undiagnosed FASD cases for every one officially confirmed.

There is no risk-free time during pregnancy, no safe type of alcohol or risk-free amount - which is why all four UK Chief Medical Officers advise that no alcohol should be consumed during pregnancy or if likely to conceive (including in the weeks/months before pregnancy is confirmed). Yet FASD is preventable in either of two ways: by not drinking during pregnancy - or by not getting pregnant while continuing to drink.

Is anything being said - or, better still, being done - to help prevent this specific ‘collateral damage’? Since most people are riveted on new information about what can be done to avoid harm during this pandemic, there is a great opportunity in this moment to prevent FASD.

 For complete story

 

Featured Website

World Federation Against Drugs

World Federation Against Drugs (W.F.A.D) Dalgarno Institute is a member of this global initiative. For evidence based data on best practice drug policy in the global context.
Featured Website
Alt Tag

Institute for Behavior and Health

The Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. is to reduce the use of illegal drugs. We work to achieve this mission by conducting research, promoting ideas that are affordable and scalable...
Featured Website

Drug Free Australia

Drug Free Australia Website. Drug Free Australia is a peak body, representing organizations and individuals who value the health and wellbeing of our nation...
Featured Website

Drug Advisory Council of Australia (D.A.C.A)

Drug Advisory Council of Australia (D.A.C.A) Dalgarno Institute is an executive member of this peak body. For updates on current illicit drug issues.
Featured Website

International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy

(I.T.F.S.D.P) This international peak body continues to monitor and influence illicit drug policy on the international stage. Dalgarno Institute is a member organisation.
Featured Website

Smart Approaches to Marijuana

Smart Approaches to Marijuana. SAM's leaders are among the world's most prominent voices calling for science-based marijuana education and awareness.

21 Be There

There isn’t merely data sharing - it isn't about promoting a 'one dimensional' legislative solution to a complex problem
Featured Website

Drug Free Futures

Drug Policy Futures believes in engaging in an open dialogue about the strengths and weaknesses of global drug policies...
Featured Website

Action Alcohol

The National Alliance for Action on Alcohol is a national coalition of health and community organisations from across Australia that has been formed with the goal of reducing alcohol-related harm.
Featured Website

Greater Risk

Greater Risk Website - The younger they start the greater the risk...
Featured Website

Rivermend Health

RiverMend Health is a premier provider of scientifically driven, specialty behavioral health services to those suffering from alcohol and drug dependency, dual disorders, eating disorders, obesity and chronic pain.
Featured Website

Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center

SAMHSA is committed to improving prevention, treatment, and recovery support services for mental and substance use disorders.
Featured Website

SAMHSA

SAMHSA is committed to improving prevention, treatment, and recovery support services for mental and substance use disorders.