National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children

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Acquired substance abuse disorders

Adoption Resources of Wisconsin

Describes the problems faced by children exposed to maternal substance abuse during pregnancy. Provides an overview and statistics on the scope of the problem, focusing on the effects of alcohol and cocaine, noting that the effects of alcohol exposure are more well documented than those caused by cocaine use. Lists the characteristics of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), including growth retardation, facial abnormalities, and central nervous system dysfunction. Describes the emotional and behavioral difficulties experienced by FAS children in infancy, early childhood and adolescence. Also breaks down the effects of cocaine on children by age group. Effects on babies include withdrawal symptoms, premature birth, and low birth weight. Less is known about the effects on young children and adolescents. Answers frequently asked questions about the effects of substance abuse on children. Provides an action plan for parents to help substance-affected children (particularly FAS) cope with daily challenges, such as teaching organizational skills, providing structure, and helping them control impulses and understand the consequences of their behaviors.