Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, has called on the Government to commit funds to research the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Ireland as part of a wider research initiative into children affected by parental alcohol problems.
The call marks the 11th International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Day and comes following the publication of a new European-wide study on children affected by parental alcohol problems.
Charity Director Fiona Ryan said: “Even in light of the Children Affected by Parental Alcohol Problems (CHAPAPS) report, the message remains the same – there is a lack of information on how problem drinking by parents affects children. There is also a lack of information on the damage to foetal health as a result of mothers drinking during pregnancy.
“There is concern in Ireland as to the potential extent of FASD due to our high consumption rates of alcohol and our harmful patterns of drinking. We already know that six out of ten Irish women continue drinking during their pregnancy – a fact which the author of a key report has called ‘desperately worrying’.”
The ChAPAPs project, which was published in Summer 2010, reviews and identifies the main approaches adopted by EU partners in addressing the issue of the children affected by parental alcohol problems. Alcohol Action Ireland compiled the Ireland report with support from Irish experts in the fields of alcohol and child welfare drawn from academia, service delivery and policy.
The goal of the three year project is to prevent and reduce the negative consequences of parental drinking. It is funded by European Commission, Directorate-General Health and Consumer Protection to support a strategy to protect young people and children from alcohol-related harms, by contributing to a greater understanding of the situation for ChAPAPs in participating countries.
Ms Ryan added: “Too often we focus on alcohol-related harms and costs in terms of healthcare and public order and we forget about the very human costs in terms of lives lost and lives damaged by problem alcohol use. We ask the Government to recognize and respond to the needs of children affected by parental alcohol problems.”
Note to Editor:
The full ChAPAPs report can be viewed on the website,
For further information or comment contact: https://alcoholaction.wpengine.com/?page_id=195
Alcohol Action Ireland Communications Officer Cathy Gray (01) 878 0610/ 087 995 0186