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

Just Posted

U.S. government recommends largest development option for ANWR

The final environmental impact statement was released on Sept. 12

Yukon releases its FASD Action Plan

Seven priorites, 31 actions outlined

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

18 people evacuated from Ethel Lake as nearby wildfire grows

The North Crooked Creek fire, burning south of Stewart Crossing, has grown to 24,842 hectares

Crown rests case in Ibex Valley murder trial

Edward James Penner, 22, is accused of killing Adam Cormack in 2017

City council news, briefly

Some of the decisions made by Whitehorse city council Sept. 9

For the first time, women outnumber men at the Annual Klondike Road Relay

The field of 1,877 runners included 1,141 women, a first for the event

History Hunter: There was more than gold in them thar hills

With placer production and the general population of the Yukon both declining… Continue reading

Yukonomist: How the Yukon saved the economy

During the Klondike gold rush, the prospect of free gold drew more… Continue reading

Just Doo-Doo Its sit on the throne after winning the Great Klondike International Outhouse Race

“Running with an outhouse can be a little sketchy at times”

Yukon mountain bikers compete at Quebec championships

“In the end, it’s the race that matters”

Commentary: Choose people over paperwork

Frank Turner The following is an open letter to Stephen Samis, deputy… Continue reading

Most Read