When pregnant mothers drink, alcohol from their blood can pass to their baby through the umbilical cord. In turn, this exposure can damage the baby’s brain and cause growth problems. These problems vary from child to child and may include phsyical defects, brain and central nervous system problems, and social and behavioral issues. These can result in a number of syndromes and disorders, collectively grouped together as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
Key Facts about FASDs
- FASDs are a group of conditions that occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy.
- FASDs cause a range of issues, including hyperactivity, learning disabilities, speech and language delays, problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones, and others.
- These disorders are hard to diagnose, and it’s unclear how many people may have FASDs. There’s no medical test for these conditions and often FASDs share symptoms with other disorders.
- There’s no cure for FASDs. That said, early intervention can improve a child’s outcomes, and treatments to help with symptoms do exist.
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, one of the FASDs, is projected to cost the U.S. more than $4 billion annually.
- There’s no safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant. All types of alcohol, including beer and wine, are equally harmful.
Resources for Raising Awareness about FASDs
September is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Month, and September 9th is International FASD Awareness Day.
The whole month of September is a key time to raise awareness about FASDs. To help you raise awareness about FASDs during FASD Awareness Month, we’ve collaborated with Aubrey Page, CEO and FASD educator at FASDaware LLC.
Aubrey created a social media kit to help you raise awareness about FASDs on social media, and she updates those resources on her Trello board. Additionally, she is interviewing experts about FASDs, which you can find on her YouTube page.
Everyone Has a Role in Prevention. Find Yours. Join Prevention Action Alliance.
At Prevention Action Alliance, we are dedicated to leading healthy communities in the prevention of substance misuse and the promotion of mental health wellness. We’re building a world where every community has access to high-quality prevention resources and where all know their role in prevention.
To build that world, we need your help. Everyone has a role in prevention. It takes a community to create safe and healthy environments for our children, and we’d like to invite you to join the Prevention Action Alliance, whether you’re a:
- A parent looking for tips to raise your children in the know about substance misuse,
- A community leader looking to create or join an anti-drug coalition,
- A college- or university-based health and wellness professional looking to improve the lives of your students,
- A family grieving the loss of a loved one to an overdose,
- An adult ally who empowers young people to lead their peers in prevention,
- A youth leader in prevention creating a better school and better community,
- An advocate wanting to create a better world for all,
- Or a volunteer or donor wanting to support the initiatives of Prevention Action Alliance.
Whoever you are, we invite you to find your role in prevention.
If you’re concerned about you or someone else, get help at findtreatment.gov.