Understanding the links between FASD and early life trauma in indigenous communities in Australia

Med J Aust 2012; 197 (1): 22. doi: 10.5694/mja11.10390

If you attended the 4th International Conference on FASD (or the 3rd for that matter), you are likely to remember Lorian Hayes.

Lorian has a new article out in the latest issue of The Medical Journal of Australia called “Aboriginal women, alcohol and the road to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.” (You can download the free full-text here)

She comments:

During several decades of working in the health field, I have asked myself and others why Aboriginal people drink alcohol at such dangerous levels…. It is unrealistic to expect that individuals can take responsibility for their own actions outside the context of their cultural environment. Programs aimed at changing individual risky behaviour fail to acknowledge the way in which the person is inextricably tied to the culture in which he or she exists.

In the article, she provides a framework that expands our views on the use of alcohol in Indigenous communities. The framework was developed through interviews and discussions with members of remote, rural and urban Aboriginal communities in Queensland.

You can learn more about Lorian Hayes on her website (she’s happy to receive requests for articles she has previously written) or check out previous posts.

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