I think there needs to be more education in schools about drinking while pregnant seeing as many children with FASD are born to very young mothers. There also needs to be alot more addictions treatment available to young individuals.
For decades now, the simple math has put the cost to the public system of a baby born with alcohol-induced brain damage at $1 million over his or her lifetime. Over time that's moved closer to $1.5 million, but it is a rough estimate. Now, however, there are some firm numbers attached to the tab and the picture coming into focus is an eye opener.
The itemized account constructed by University of Manitoba researchers measured the costs to the health and education systems of children with and without fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The disproportionate reliance annually on health services and special supports in school is stark -- FASD children will be in hospital at about twice the rate of the general population and their visits cost 40 per cent more. They are far likelier to be hospitalized with a mental illness, more than three times as likely to be on anti-psychotic medications. In school, special supports for FASD kids will cost an average $7,343 yearly, $5,000 more than for kids in the general population.
Once a child is grown and out of school, supports fall off, as does the chance of diagnosis. For many, the first mention of FASD comes in a court-ordered, pre-sentence report.
It is easy to do the math, here. Manitoba spends just more than $10 million yearly on FASD. There is expected to be more money allotted this year to prevention, but it will not be enough. Until the money and work to convince and coerce pregnant women not to drink is redoubled, there will be no getting ahead of the curve of this scourge.