Healthy Kids: Alcohol and Pregnancy
First drink and your brain:
- Young people abuse alcohol more than any other substance.
- US: 11-20 y.o. consume 11% of all alcohol.
- By 15 – 35% of teens have had a drink.
- By 18 – 65% of teens have had a drink.
- 90% consume alcohol by binge drinking.
Attraction of alcohol lies in enduring cellular changes:
- Attraction =perceived, euphoric ‘high’ that it induces.
- Activates neurons in the dopamine pathways.
- Dopamine = goal-oriented and reward-based behaviors.
- Memory registers and stores the perceived benefits of alcohol from the very first time a person drinks.
Devastating impacts of fetal alcohol syndrome:
- Diminished learning capacity
3 Main kinds of behavioral problems with FASD:
- Internalizing Behaviors: anxiety, withdrawal, depression
- Externalizing Behaviors: aggression or delinquency
- Other: social skills, thought processing and attention.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome:
- Tragic result of alcohol use in pregnancy.
- Causes birth defects and neurodevelopmental problems.
- Recommendation: no alcohol use during pregnancy.
- Support is needed for these children.