FASD is the most common cause of developmental and physical disabilities and behaviour problems that last a lifetime. People with FASD have a great need for mental health and addiction services, especially if they are involved with the child welfare or criminal justice systems.
Between 2015 and 2018 a study, the Health, Social, and Legal Outcomes of Individuals with Diagnosis or at Risk for FASD, looked at people in British Columbia, Canada, who had been diagnosed with or were at risk for FASD.
The results of the descriptive statistics were divided into groups based on age, gender, and involvement with the criminal justice system and the child welfare system. All of the people in the group had high rates of psychological or developmental disabilities, physical co-morbidities, substance use, and involvement in the child welfare and criminal justice systems. The study concluded that those who were involved with the child welfare system were more likely to have anxiety. Higher rates of drug and cannabis use in the past were linked to involvement with the criminal justice system. These results show how important it is to improve policies to meet the special needs of people with FASD.
- Individuals with FASD had high rates of physical (38%) and mental (78%) health conditions, and 50% used substances.
- Individuals with FASD were involved in the child welfare (75%) and criminal justice (30%) systems.
- Individuals with FASD involved in the child welfare system were over 4 times more likely to have an anxiety disorder.