Prenatal Alcohol and Drug Exposure: Interview with Dr. Ira Chasnoff

Evaluating the risk of prenatal alcohol and drug exposure is one of the hardest decisions adoptive parents must make. Host Dawn Davenport interviewed Dr. Ira Chasnoff, one of the nation’s leading researchers on long term effects of prenatal alcohol and drug exposure, and author of a new book on the subject, The Mystery of Risk. Dr. Chasnoff is president of the Children’s Research Triangle and a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago.

Hit the Highlights
  • How common is prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol in foster care adoption, international adoption, and domestic infant adoption?
  • In what countries in international adoption is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) most common?
  • Is prenatal drug exposure common in international adoption?
  • What is the best way for adoptive parents to assess the danger of fetal alcohol or drug exposure?
  • How does the quantity and timing of alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine, or opiates affect the outcome for the child?
  • What is the primary factor predicting how much a chid will be impacted by fetal exposure?
  • Are children exposed prenatally to drugs or alcohol more likely to have other health issues or mental health issues?
  • Does fetal alcohol or drug exposure make a child more likely to have bi-polar disorder, OCD, depression, or ADHD?
  • Are children who are born addicted or dependent on drugs more likely to have long term problems?
  • What type of neurological evaluation should adoptive parents have on their child that they suspect of FAS or FASD?
  • What is the long term prognosis for these children and what affects the prognosis?
  • What affects early brain development even more than alcohol or drugs?
  • At what developmental stage is the fetal or infant brain most vulnerable?
  • What type of therapy is most effective for children with FAS or FASD or drug exposure?

For more information from this show and a discussion of this topic, check out Dawn’s blog on the show: Greatest Predictor of Success for Fetal Alcohol or Drug Exposure. Please join the discussion or leave your thoughts about the show in the comments on the blog.

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Image Credit: World of Oddy