400% INCREASE IN ALCOHOLIC MUMS; EXCLUSIVE.
THE number of pregnant women who are alcoholics has almost quadrupled in five years, figures released yesterday show.
Eighty-two alcoholics gave birth last year, compared with 22 in 2002.
But the figures only include registered addicts and the true number is far higher.
It follows news that the number of women dying from alcohol has doubled in 15 years.
The latest figures also reveal there were twice as many new mums registered as heroin addicts in 2007 compared with four years ago - with 1,059 junkies having babies last year, up from 535 in 2003.
Previous figures show more than 1,000 kids are born hooked on drugs every year.
Cassie Ohlson, of the National Association for the Children of Alcoholics said: "People don't talk about alcoholism or addiction. It can be really confusing for children."
Lib Dem health spokesman Norman Lamb said it was crucial doctors took action early in pregnancy to try to stop the addictions of mums being passed to their babies.
He added: "This is a wake-up call showing the urgent need to tackle the devastating impact of drug addiction in this country."