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About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

9 Core Messages: What Everyone Should Know About Prenatal Alcohol Exposure 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. According to the National Institute of Health, alcohol is a known toxicant, causing cell death in a fetus, and a teratogen, altering cell cycle and function in a developing fetal brain, with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure having immediate and persisting effects on an individual with FASDs. 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.