This from National Documentation Centre on drug use:
Drinking in pregnancy - Irish figures highest in EU
(Source:'We’re worst for drinking in pregnancy': Irish Independent p. 6, 22 May 2006)
A government-funded study of alcohol, smoking and drug use by pregnant women carried out at the Coombe Women’s Hospital found that 79 per cent of those surveyed continued to drink alcohol while pregnant, compared to 68 per cent in other EU countries.
The study involved 125,945 women between 1988 and 2005. It found that the older the expectant mother was, the more likely she was to drink alcohol while pregnant, but younger pregnant women were more likely to drink large amounts. The report claims that increasing numbers babies are being born with disabilities because of exposure to alcohol in the womb.
The results of the study were presented to the Minister for Health last month, but have not yet been published by her department. A spokeswoman said that the department was considering the report and planned to meet with the researchers and the HSE to consider what further action was required, including the need for an awareness campaign.
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