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About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

September is FASD Awareness Month 9 core messages document

Prenatal alcohol exposure is an issue that affects everyone. Family members, partners, friends, healthcare providers, community and society all have a responsibility to become aware and understand the impact alcohol plays in pregnancy. Alcohol is the single most widely accepted and used substance in society.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) describes the permanent impacts caused by alcohol use during pregnancy. No amount of alcohol use is known to be safe for a developing fetus. Alcohol is an agent which causes malformation of an embryo. Often there are no outward signs to show a person has FASD, but the brain can still be affected. Undiagnosed, the actions of those affected by FASD are often misunderstood, treated as a behavioral disorder, and subsequent trauma can occur.

FASD is a PREVENTABLE disability. There is still work that needs to be done to educate health care providers and the general public on the impacts of prenatal alcohol use and the underlying root causes. The large numbers of citizens already impacted by FASD require public attention and supports to live successful lives contributing to society.