According to reports from the best alcohol rehab in Los Angeles, there is an increasing level of drinking and drug use in pregnant Alberta women. Further provincial reports indicate that in Alberta the rate of drinking and drug use in the community generally is increasing – at an “alarming” rate.
Erin Palashniak of Calgary Fetal Alcohol Network says that although there is a public perception that drinking and drug use during pregnancy only occurs in “marginalized” women – this is not the case. Women in Alberta are drinking and or drug-using during pregnancy from all socio-economic levels in the community.
The detrimental effects of alcohol and drug use on the fetal development of the child are well documented. The level of damage done depends upon the amount and frequency of alcohol and drug use and the developmental stage of the fetus when exposed to alcohol and drug use occurs.
Whereas there is much debate as to whether or not alcohol and drug addiction is a “disease” or something done by choice, there is no question that addictive behavior is compulsive – in many cases overriding the natural feelings of love and concern that a mother might be expected to feel towards her unborn child.
Not only does alcohol and drug use harm the baby physically, a mother who abuses substances is also less likely to have a handle on her own emotional problems, and so is likely, not with any intention on her part, to be emotionally abusive to the child.
In Norway, mothers and newborn babies considered to be at risk are simply not allowed to leave the maternity hospital facility without an array of support workers and help. In absence of a father and or family support the State intervenes in the mother-child dynamic to bring about the possibility of improvement and change.
It is a healthy situation for at-risk mothers and babies to have recourse to external sources of help and support. Mothers don’t feel so alone with their children and possibly depressed and inadequate.
Substance abuse is caused by feelings of anxiety and depression. When mothers already resort to substance abuse to overcome negative feelings – the stress of dealing with a new baby is most likely to intensify feelings of doubt and inadequacy rather than lead to feelings of joy.
The newborn child will pick up on the emotions and expressions of its mother. If instead of happiness, the child only sees fear, anxiety, and desperation – it creates negative self-esteem in the child.
When children become dysfunctional they are said to have inherited a disease – and are given medication to treat symptoms of what is seen as being a genetic disorder.
When unresolved emotional problems get passed on to the next generation it is not by genetic means, nor caused by the external environment. When a child lacks essentials to nurture and care – good physical and emotional development don’t happen.
Resolving dysfunctional intergenerational patterns of behavior is not achieved by medication. Cognitive-behavioral changes don’t get to the root of the problem.
Holistic counseling and family therapy is the only way to work through underlying emotional issues and so restore good health and equilibrium, balance, and harmony to the family structure.