By: Pam Louwagie, StarTribune, 8 Feb 2014
Accessed on: 20 Feb 2014
Commentary by: Krystal Glowatski
A new FASD prevention initiative is coming out of Crow Wing County, through the nonprofit organization “Healthy Brains for Children.” The group will be dispersing breathalyzers to pregnant girls and girls who are known to drink alcohol. Incentives such as gift cards and cell phone minutes will be provided for these girls to stay abstinent from alcohol.
How will this idea work? “A California company called SoberLink is donating the small, pink Breathalyzers that will fit inside a purse or backpack and carry the label “My Baby’s Breath.” A mom-to-be in the program will get a text reminding her of a scheduled breath test and she’ll have 45 minutes to breathe into the device using a small tube. The device will take a photo of the girl and register her breath’s alcohol content, then send that information to a computer over a cellular network. If alcohol is detected, parents, counselors and others will be notified.”
The idea was created based on the story of one Minnesota woman who used official police breathalyzer equipment during her pregnancy. “Teresa Haberman said she’s grateful that county officials offered her the equipment in her home after she had legal troubles during her pregnancy. She needed help, she said, and the accountability helped her stay sober.” This woman is still sober.
What do you think? A brilliant idea to put an end to FASD? An initiative that will help some women during their pregnancy? Or a thoughtful initiative, but maybe not the most effective strategy? Please share your thoughts!