Alcohol - is Anyone Listening?
Alcohol + Babies
- A man’s health affects his offspring: His age, genetics, diet, smoking, and drinking
- A woman who drinks from conception throughout the pregnancy is causing irreversible birth defects and damage to her baby which can result in physical, intellectual, behavioral and developmental disabilities for not only the baby’s life, but the children and grandchildren of her baby. This includes: Low birth weight and slow growth, problems with heart, kidneys and other organs, and damage to parts of the brain. Learning disabilities, a low IQ, hyperactivity, difficulty with attention, poor reasoning and judgment skills. Issues with school and social skills, mental health, substance use, keeping a job, trouble with the law.
- No amount of alcohol in any trimester is considered safe for the developing baby.
- Maternal alcohol consumption may also impact that baby’s future children, including the baby’s children and grandchildren who didn’t have direct alcohol exposure.
- Three-fourths of women actively wanting to get pregnant say they drink alcohol.
- More than 3 million American women are at risk of exposing a developing baby to alcohol, due in part to a lag time very early in the pregnancy before a woman knows that she's pregnant. That may create a window where even women who would never drink if they knew they were pregnant place their developing baby at risk.
- Some pregnant women mistakenly believe it's possible to drink moderately without risk to the babies they are carrying.
- Men and women must understand the danger. When you have a child, you have to stop drinking for nine months. (Source: Drinking alcohol while pregnant could harm not just your children, but grandchildren,” by Lois M. Collins, Deseret News, July 16, 2017)
- In adults who drink, alcohol causes
- Cost of over $5.5 billion to the American economy, when a women drinks while pregnant.
- More deaths of children than any other drug. 29,000 alcohol-induced deaths in 2013.
- Alcohol poisoning
- Cancer. Alcohol is a carcinogen, for cancers of the head, neck, esophagus, breast, colon and liver.
- DUI’s, which are the leading cause of traffic fatalities in the State. 12,744 killed in 2009 due to alcohol-related traffic fatalities. "Drunk driving is a national epidemic that threatens every American across the nation. Drunk driving is the most frequently committed violent crime in the U.S. today.” (Congressman Michael D. Barnes)
- 1/3 of all families to be touched by it.
- Domestic violence
- Child abuse
- Rape and sexual assaults, including most campus sexual assaults
- Unemployment - inability to keep a job because of chronic alcoholism
- Rising health costs, premature death and diminished accomplishment. 700,000 people in the U.S. receive treatment for alcohol-related health problems every day, including breast cancer, liver and heart disease; as well as excessive drinking on college campuses which often lead to brain injury, a vegetative state, or death.
- Reason for 1/4 of all hospital admissions
- $249 billion dollars in lost worker productivity and treatment of alcohol-related problems (2010)
- Reduced marital and lifetime success and happiness
- Crimes and property damage
- Harmful interactions with prescription drugs
- Children whose mothers drank during pregnancy
- Up to 1 in 20 school children in the U.S. may have FASD’s.
- Babies born to women who drink during pregnancy may suffer fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, including physical, behavioral and intellectual and developmental disabilities that last a lifetime. Fetal exposure create problems with key organs like the heart and kidneys, low birth weight, learning disabilities and reasoning challenges, poor mental health, substance abuse and even criminal involvement, among other things.
- Babies exposed to alcohol prenatally can grow up with significant lifelong challenges. They may make bad decisions, struggle in school and find it difficult to keep both friends and jobs. Their families are also impacted. If those babies grow up to have children of their own, they may not have picked up the skills they need to be good parents.
- Many physical problems are associated with fetal alcohol exposure, such as heart defects, facial changes, and changes to the brain that are with that child for their lifetime.
- Alcohol exposure disrupts the wiring in the brain, messing up connections and altering gene expression. Epigenetic changes to chromosomes that affect how genes are expressed, can be passed to offspring across generations.
- Prenatal exposure changes motor behavior and increases anxiety in offspring, among other things. The new findings show that negative changes can pass to future generations that were not even directly exposed to ethanol. Second and third generations can have similar effects to those with direct exposure.
- Physical Issues: Low birth weight and growth; problems with heart, kidneys and other organs; Damage to parts of the brain
Which leads to…Behavioral and Intellectual Disabilities
: Learning disabilities and low IQ; Hyperactivity; Difficulty with attention; Poor ability to communicate in social situations; Poor reasoning and judgment skills
These can lead to…Lifelong Issues with
School and social skills; Living independently; Mental health; Substance use; Keeping a job; Trouble with the law (Source: CDC Vital Signs, February 2016, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Nov. 2015)
- Children who drink during adolescence (before their brains are fully developed), are left with diminished mental capacity; increased likelihood of becoming an alcoholic.
Is Anyone Listening?