Healthy Brains for Children: Did you PT? A revolutionary change in thinking before drinking

Healthy Brains for Children launched our Think Before You Drink Initiative, the first of its kind in the world, July 19, 2012. One pregnancy test dispenser became a worldwide phenomenon. Within hours, the story spread around the world.
Author:
Publish date:

Healthy Brains for Children launched our Think Before You Drink Initiative, the first of its kind in the world, July 19, 2012. One pregnancy test dispenser became a worldwide phenomenon. Within hours, the story spread around the world. News outlets in South Africa, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, England, Singapore, Bangladesh, and elsewhere trumpeted the story of a pregnancy test dispenser in a bar in Mankato, MN. By Friday night, Jimmy Fallon mentioned the story in a joke. TIME, CNN, Huffington Post, AOL, and many other news outlets ran the story. Within a week, the story became the number one trending story on Yahoo. One dispenser in a bar in Mankato, Minn. and one charitable nonprofit organization committed to their mission completely changed the conversation about preventing prenatal exposure to alcohol.

Healthy Brains for Children seeks to change the current norm so a woman who could be pregnant tests for pregnancy before drinking any alcohol. The initiative is encouraging communities to place pregnancy test dispensers in easily accessed locations that will allow the discrete purchase and use of the tests. Why is this important? A study published April 25, 2012, in Live Science reported that 73 percent of pregnancies in the unmarried 20-23 year old population were unexpected and unplanned. More than 78 percent of teen pregnancies are unexpected and unplanned. More than 30 percent of married couples have unexpected pregnancies. Research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry shows college-age women are drinking at historically high level … especially binge drinking. According to the Center for Disease Control, adolescent and adult binge drinking is at an all time high and most people who binge are not alcohol dependent. According to Dr. Larry Burd, University of North Dakota, an estimated 40 percent or more of women have inadvertently exposed one or more of their children to alcohol before they knew they were pregnant. Unexpected pregnancies and drinking alcohol combine to put millions of developing fetuses in harm’s way.

Research shows the first trimester of a pregnancy is particularly susceptible to damage from alcohol - binge drinking. Drinking alcohol during the first trimester of an unexpected pregnancy is happening at a rate that would be considered epidemic in the case of other devastating illnesses or outbreaks. Our schools, communities, state and nation are being overwhelmed with the financial costs resulting from this silent epidemic.

Healthy Brains for Children has a vision of pregnancy test dispensers in women’s restrooms in bars, gas stations, malls, fitness centers and college student unions where women can discretely test for an unexpected pregnancy before drinking. Within five years, we would like to hear a responsible drinking conversation between women before a night out on the town that would go something like this, “Do we have a DD (designated driver) and did everyone take a PT (pregnancy test)?”

Next Up

Related

Healthy Brains for Children: Would you take a pregnancy test in a bar?

If you make a beeline to the stalls, you might miss the pregnancy test dispenser fastened to a wall in the women’s restroom of Pub 500 in Mankato, Minn. There, with the swipe of a credit card, for a $3 fee, you can use a nearby toilet and learn whether you may proceed in good conscience with the martini you were about to order.

MSP Mag: Must. Drink. Brains.

You know, Zombies get thirsty too. The dudes behind Zombie Pub Crawl Ocho know how to hook a boogey up. For the Oct. 13 crawl they have teamed up with local Schell’s Brewery to release cans of ... Brain Belt Cranium.

U of M researcher: Bulimia changes the brain

Doctors say when there’s an increase in binging episodes, the brain's reward system comes less responsive. That means disorders like bulimia not only causes psychological issues but also biological effects that alter the brain’s reward system.

MSP Magazine: Children and diet in America

Andrew Zimmern writes, "One of the most important pieces of editorial content you will ever read came down the pipe on March 27 in The New York Times. Mark Bittman’s eloquent and learned piece on children and diet in America is a clarion call to action for not only parents but for anyone with half a brain left in their head after being beaten senseless with the “if it isn’t happening to me right now it doesn’t matter” stick."

Healthy? Here's $100

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota this week became the first Minnesota health insurance company to offer a direct financial incentive to its members who maintain a healthy lifestyle. But they have to meet four criteria, including a healthy body mass index (BMI). Would you qualify?

Medtronic seeks partner in brain pump project

Fridley-based Medtronic is looking for pharmaceutical industry partners as it seeks to advance a pump technology, which Medtronic believes could be a good delivery system for Alzheimer's medicines pushed directly into the brain, the Pioneer Press reports.

Prosecutors say Amy Senser admitted drinking before hit-and-run

Prosecutors claim the wife of former Viking Joe Senser told one of her daughters that she had been drinking before she fatally struck a man along a freeway on-ramp in Minneapolis. She was in court on Monday for her last plea before jury selection in a criminal vehicular homicide case.

Don't drink the water in Lino Lakes

A drop in water pressure caused the Minnesota Department of Health to issue a Do Not Drink order for the water in Lino Lakes. Low pressure makes the water vulnerable to bacteria. Nearly two dozen restaurants face closing unless they can arrange a substitute water supply.