Focus on fetal alcohol growth

“Health and community workers across Northland are concerned at the growing number of young people who are being diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder…”

10 Jun 2015
Northern News
[Wellington, New Zealand]

Health and community workers across Northland are concerned at the growing number of young people who are being diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

At a forum on ‘‘FASD and Justice’’ in Whangarei on May 24/15, concerns were raised about the suspected number of children in the region who may be affected.

The disorder causes a range of physical, cognitive and behavioural impairments caused by alcohol exposure during fetal development. It can only be caused by a mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy and there is no cure. It is a lifelong brain impairment that cannot be repaired.

The ‘‘secondary effects’’ can impact significantly on the life of a person with the disorder.

These might include behaviours such as lack of impulse control, problems understanding the consequences of their actions and hyperactivity.

In New Zealand, it is estimated that between 600 and 3000 children are born every year with FASD.

If you need help with an alcohol problem, phone free the alcohol drug helpline on 0800 787 797.