Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Alcohol, drugs and sex, but no rock and roll

The Federal government has announced a program that will see $9 million spent over three years on extra support for drug and alcohol dependent parents. The program's goal is to help affected children. That's not much money considering the number of children whose lives are adversely affected by a substance-abusing parent or parents.

Perhaps the government should consider allocating money to a program that actively discourages substance abusers having children – prevention is after all better than a band-aid solution for a problem that must see the government spend huge sums on social services, medical care and the like for children raised in dysfunctional families. It's also likely a disproportionate number of these kids will become involved with the legal system through crime. And don't even bother coming at me with the argument that some of the best parents you've known are drug/alcohol abusers. It's not true.

In tangentially related news, "periconceptional medicine" specialist Professor Nicholas Macklon told the Fertility Society of Australia annual meeting in Perth:

"Leading a healthy lifestyle to achieve fertility fitness should be considered as much a part of assisted reproduction as high technology interventions such as IVF (in vitro fertilisation).''

According to Professor Macklin, reproductive specialists must do more than assist with conception. They must, "ensure that the child becomes a healthy adult." This apparently means that parents who smoke or are obese need not apply. Fair enough, but where to draw the line? What about alcohol: how much is too much? And drugs; how much casual drug use disqualifies? What about risky lifestyles like sun-worshiping that might lead to an untimely parental death? Suppose a parent likes to gamble. The list of parental factors that might adversely affect a child is almost endless.

Smokers and the fat are easy targets. God help you if you're both.


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