Monday, 3 December 2007

'My drinking was harming my unborn baby but I couldn't stop'

Full Story:
A pregnant mother-of-four has laid bare her battle against alcoholism, which began when she was just 15, to UTV's Insight team.
Linda Young's 20-year addiction has come at a hefty price - her children, the oldest 13, the youngest just three, have been taken away from her.
Linda's five-year-old daughter was born with foetal alcohol syndrome.
"I could have prevented that from happening to my child but I caused that to happen to my baby," she admits during a harrowing interview.
"I might as well have just gone out and threw her in front of a bus. That's ruined the child's life.
"I knew that the drink was damaging my child but the drink had control of me. I had no control.
"I knew I was going to lose her. It was like something slipping through your fingers. I know it was the wrong thing to do for me to go back to the drink."
Pregnant again, Linda is determined to keep the child she is carrying but admits she has had a drink.
"I did on a couple of occasions have a drink but not to the extent that I did with the child with foetal alcohol syndrome."
Linda's drinking escalated when her 15-year-old brother died in 1999 after aerosol sniffing.
"When you've a loss, some people run to the chapel. I turned to alcoholism," she says.
"I'd have woken up at 3 o'clock in the morning and had two tins of beer, gone back to sleep again, woke up at 8 o'clock and got the kids ready for school."
Insight also speaks to young people who pack our parks and cemeteries when darkness falls. Most admit they started drinking when they had barely left primary school.
I spoke to one young man, a father-of-one, who was shot in the legs by republicans over his antisocial behaviour.

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