A number of experts have said that youth suffering from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) are more susceptible to participating in gang activity.
According to the Canadian Press, a number of doctors and social workers are coming forward saying that for those suffering with the FAS, gang life can seem more attractive. FAS is defined as neurological damage caused by a mother’s excessive drinking during pregnancy.
According to the CP, these experts however were quick to ascribe the vulnerability only to those youth who have actually been medically diagnosed with the syndrome.
The CP article quoted Mitch Bourbonniere, a Métis social worker from Winnipeg, as saying that these youth also face a “double whammy,” since many of them are subject to poverty, addictions and abuse.
Bourbonniere identified that there is a correlation between the gangs and youth who have the syndrome.
The major concern is that if something is not done now, many of those suffering from FAS may become subject to a life of crime and that there could be higher instances of those with FAS falling victim to gangs.
Instances of FAS can be up to 10 times higher in Native communities compared to non-Native communities and Health Canada has stated that the incidence of the syndrome in some Aboriginal and Inuit communities as high as one-in-five.