Yukon needs to do more to help those with FASD

Yukon needs to do more to help those with FASD Re: "Substance abuse is cutting Yukoners' lives short: Hanley" (The News, May 20) It was interesting to me that this article about the ravages of alcohol use by Yukoners does not mention the brain damage cau

Re: “Substance abuse is cutting Yukoners’ lives short: Hanley” (The News, May 20)

It was interesting to me that this article about the ravages of alcohol use by Yukoners does not mention the brain damage caused by prenatal alcohol exposure.

In 2000, Dr. Frank Timmermans, the medical officer of health, stated that there were 24-25 babies born in Yukon each year with significant prenatal alcohol exposure. That would be an average of 6-7 per cent of babies born each year.

Because of poor access to diagnosis in Yukon, we will never know how many of those babies would have gone on to have an FASD diagnosis. However, we do know that that means that between 2000 and today in 2016, there are at least 360 people out there with that possibility.

In March of this year, Alberta’s Institute of Health Economics released research showing that the life expectancy for people with FASD in Alberta is 34 years of age. There is no reason to think that this would be any different in the Yukon, even though we are not able to replicate the study due to the lack of diagnostic records.

The leading causes of death for people with FASD were “external causes” (44 per cent) which include suicide, murder, violence, accidents, poisoning by illegal drugs and alcohol, etc. This research should become an impetus for targeted prevention of FASD and targeted service for people living with the brain damage of FASD to provide the structure, supervision and support they require.

I have been working in the field of FASD in the Yukon since 1973 and find it hard to believe that it is still not safe to live in Yukon with this disability.

Judy Pakozdy, BScN

Carcross

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New case of COVID-19 in Whitehorse

CMO says this is the first locally-acquired case but not an example of community transmission

Judge grants order to shut down Pelly Crossing bootlegger

Justice Suzanne Duncan issued the community safety order on July 17.

Watson Lake mayor resigns following fraud, forgery charges

Cheryl O’Brien is accused of defrauding the Watson Lake Riding Association

Organized sports ramp up for fall amid new restrictions

Limited summer programs have gone well, groups say

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Aug. 7, 2020

Roberta Joseph reelected as Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in chief

Unofficial results show Joseph with more than double the votes of runner-up

Development incentives considered for three projects

Projects will add 24 rental units to the market

Delegate calls for crosswalk changes to show support for people of colour

Mayor states support for idea, but cautions it could take some time

Whitehorse advises of water system maintenance

Residents on the city’s water system are being advised they may notice… Continue reading

Walkway, signs planned for West Dawson paddlewheel graveyard

Unofficial attraction may get 135-m walkway and interpretive signs, if YESAB application approved

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week. Tennis… Continue reading

Cancan show to return to Gerties

The Klondike Visitors Association announced in a press release on July 29… Continue reading

Air North named best airline

Tripadvisor named Air North the Travellers’ Choice Best Airline in Canada 2020… Continue reading

Most Read