Thank you for the Aug. 21 article regarding the impact of heroin addiction on newborn babies (“When a life begins in rehab”). As devastating as heroin addiction is on a newborn, there is something far more devastating and more common to every ethnic group: income and educational level in our society.
Alcohol, including beer, wine and cocktails, during pregnancy damages a developing fetus far more than any illegal drug. It affects 40,000 infants per year and is the leading known cause of developmental disability and birth defects in the U.S. These defects can include physical, mental, behavioral and learning disabilities with lifelong implications.
Alcohol can harm a fetus at any time, even before a woman knows she is pregnant. Many women drink early in pregnancy but stop drinking when they learn they are pregnant — these fetuses are at risk. And no, it’s not OK to have a few sips on a special occasion.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that occur in an individual prenatally exposed to alcohol. Sept. 9 is nationwide awareness day of FASD. Please let others know how dangerous drinking during pregnancy is to a baby’s entire life.
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Do not drink when you are pregnant.