Have questions about what prenatal substance exposure is and who it affects? Please see below for more information.

What is prenatal substance exposure?

Prenatal substance exposure (PSE) occurs when a pregnant person consumes alcohol or drugs during pregnancy. This exposure can cause significant harm to the developing brain, contributing to developmental delays and behavioral challenges.

What types of challenges does prenatal substance exposure cause?

Prenatal substance exposure can lead to learning difficulties, impaired memory, anxiety, heightened risk of drug abuse, and a wide variety of disruptive behaviors. Parents, caregivers, and family members often experience isolation, anger, frustration, and uncertainty.

Who is affected by prenatal substance exposure?

Prenatal substance exposure happens across every social, economic, and ethnic background. In many cases, the parent does not yet know they are pregnant when exposure occurs. Children in foster care are particularly vulnerable to prenatal substance exposure. Approximately 80% of infants and children in foster care are affected by PSE. At Hope RISING Clinic, around 90% of kids served are in foster or adoptive homes.

What is Wonderland’s approach to prenatal substance exposure?

Hope RISING Clinic provides evaluation, diagnosis, evidence-based interventions, and family support for children with prenatal substance exposure up to age 13, all through a trauma-informed and neurobehavioral lens. We support the whole family through coaching, training, and mental health counseling. Learn more about our services and therapies here.

What are the greatest obstacles of PSE treatment and prevention?

Stigma and shame are two of the biggest reasons that parents and caregivers don’t get the support they need for their children and themselves. Hope RISING Clinic’s compassionate team of providers supports families and meets them where they are. There is no room for shame or blame when it comes to serving children in need.

Funding for these programs is limited and presents a significant barrier to reaching families seeking support. We have a growing waitlist of children seeking care and are actively working to increase funding to get every child and family off the waitlist and into the services they need.

How can I help?

The most direct way to positively impact this work is to invest in Hope RISING Clinic’s programs. Donations of any amount make a difference. Spreading the word about Hope RISING Clinic’s services and impact is a great way to get involved. Please subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media for updates.