Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The effects of passive drinking.

Lucy Adams, the chief reporter from The Herald in Scotland has written a piece on the effects of alcohol abuse on unborn children. It is a tragedy to recognise that thousands of children are suffering the aftermath of alcohol abuse which got into their bodies as foetuses.

Dr Jonathan Sher, director of research, policy and programmes at Children in Scotland has stated that children can visible suffer malformations due to the effects of alcohol ingested by the mother during the first three months of pregnancy. In a report which has been submitted to the UK and the Scottish Parliament, Dr. Sher stated that not all the damages are visible at birth, but only become apparent later on in the life of a child, who might suffer from learning disabilities, or suffer in his/her abilities to plan, learn from experience and impulse control. Apparently over 900 children in Scotland are directly affected by Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, (FAS) and thousands more suffer from its diverse effects later on in life.

Scotland has long had a culture of alcohol abuse and a” good night out” is not seen as complete without an alcohol binge. My own city of Glasgow has been documented as far back as the 1990’s as having a severe case of alcohol dependence particularly in the east end of the city. Sadly this dependence continues. The Rowntree Foundation released a report stating the steady rise in the consumption of alcohol by women where binge drinking was commonly done in 2009 by 15% of the female population in the UK.

Children do not need to be born with FAS and live with debilitating disabilities for the rest of their lives. This tragedy is entirely avoidable, if we modify our attitude towards alcohol. Alcohol abuse is entirely unacceptable. This goes both for men and women. The Church of Scotland has had a clear policy against alcohol abuse and is a supporter of the minimum pricing policy.

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