Alcohol and drugs in early parenthood
Using alcohol and drugs can impact on the health, growth, development and safety of your baby and other children in a number of ways.
Firstly, consuming drugs and alcohol can impair your reactions and reflexes. As a result if you (or your partner/friend) are taking substances (including alcohol) which affect your judgement or reflexes. Therefore if you are intoxicated, this can impact upon your ability to adequately care for your baby, and ensure that your baby is safe at all times.
In addition, there are also ways that substances can be directly passed on to your baby. For example, if you are breastfeeding, some alcohol or drugs in your system will pass through to your baby through your milk supply. Also, substances that may be smoked, can also directly affect the health of your baby – as these substances will be breathed in by your baby – which can have a negative impact on their health.
It is therefore vital that you ensure the safety of your infant or other children at all times, through responsible use of alcohol, and avoid the use of other substances in the presence of your children or when they are in your care.
Getting help for alcohol and drug use
If you are finding it difficult to cope or get through the day without drugs or alcohol, it is important that you seek professional help for this immediately. This can help you find other ways of managing stress that won’t put you or your baby (or other children) in danger, as well as provide you with a range of techniques and strategies to help you reduce/stop alcohol or drug use.
If you are finding that it is too hard to stop taking drugs or drinking, remember there are medical and psychological support services that can help you.