On behalf of First 5 San Luis Obispo County, thank you for your Aug. 30 article “1 in 3 drink early in pregnancy,” which highlighted local health experts’ concerns regarding the number of SLO County moms-to-be who drink alcohol while pregnant. Since 2003, First 5 SLO County has invested nearly $1 million in a perinatal substance abuse prevention initiative to ensure our children are born free of exposure to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. The effort promotes community collaboration, substance-free pregnancy and supports screening and brief intervention with women using substances.
The commission continues its investment in Beginnings, a collaborative network that shares resources and develops strategies to prevent substance abuse during pregnancy. Beginnings initiated the local flag display as part of the observance of National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day several years ago.
Anyone who hasn’t seen the flag display should. The number of flags validates the troubling statistic that the number of local pregnant women drinking alcohol in early pregnancy is nearly twice the statewide average.
Community education and awareness is important in reducing the number of babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome in SLO County. Please help get the word out. Our children are our future.