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Your Views: Substance abuse during pregnancy is a risk community should address

POSTED: March 21, 2014 1:00 a.m.

We are both seniors at Gainesville High School and members of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. In FCCLA, we participate in competitions called STAR Events designed to build our leadership, community service and career skills.

We have decided to participate in the STAR event “Advocacy,” and for this competition we focused on maternal drug and alcohol abuse during pregnancy. We researched this issue and were startled to find that this is such a prevalent problem in Georgia. We found that maternal drug and alcohol abuse has many lasting devastating effects for the baby cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally, and it consequently affects the economic stability and future of our state.

We need your help. We think that it would be a great idea to require a mandatory drug and alcohol education program as a part of receiving services from the Women, Infants and Children program and the Supplemental Nutritional Aid Program in Georgia. These classes could be offered as a community service project by local charities and service organizations in our communities.

Additionally, information could be offered in high school counseling offices for teenagers who are at high risk of substance abuse during pregnancy. We need support from all stakeholders in order to bring awareness to this issue.

We have prepared an educational brochure that we are sharing with our local counseling services for women who are interested. We are meeting with possible partners and setting up opportunities to present seminars for teenagers at our local schools.

We are dedicated to raise the awareness of the women around us who may be at risk of drug or alcohol abuse and ending ignorance of the effects, but we need your help to educate our community about these concerns.

Lexis Wallace and Alexandra Salgado
Gainesville High School FCCLA


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