Alcohol & Me: ‘It’s a human tragedy’

(Video / Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News)

As a state senator 25 years ago, John Binkley filed a several bills to combat fetal alcohol syndrome in Alaska. His effort had a lasting impact in many ways. Now, teachers must undergo training on the disorders and every alcohol-serving establishment must post a warning to pregnant women.

Binkley says he was inspired by an encounter he had touring Providence Alaska Medical Center. There, he met a child severely affected by alcohol in the womb. The boy was struggling to breathe and recoiled when touched. In this video, Binkley describes that moment and the action it inspired.

“The image is still very vivid of that child. It’s haunting, really, to think of the child, to see that vision, and see the suffering that that child had needlessly for four or five short years.”

Originally published May 2, 2014 by Marc Lester in Anchorage Daily News.