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Alcohol is the most preventable cause of developmental disabilities. 

The common myth is that only women struggling with alcoholism are at risk of having a child with an FASD. Any child whose mother drinks during pregnancy has the risk of disabilities associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. Unfortunately, too many women and men are not educated about the possible dangers of consuming even low levels of alcohol while pregnant.  

Often with an unplanned pregnancy, a woman may not be aware that she is pregnant. She continues to consume alcohol during the early months of her pregnancy, unaware that the fetus may sustain permanent organic brain damage.  Disabilities can include the following: medical, cognitive, neurological, linguistic, motor, learning disabilities and mental health issues. 

Too little information...
In addition, very little information is included in medical and nursing education about the teratogenic effects of alcohol upon embryonic and fetal development.

As a result, it is still a common practice for physicians to tell a pregnant woman that it is alright to have an occasional drink. One of the ways that New Jersey is addressing this issue is via the work of the members of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Other Perinatal Addictions Task Force
 
 
Be in the kNOw - a 5-year Strategic Plan to Prevent Perinatal Addictions in New Jersey
The New Jersey Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and Other Perinatal Addictions Task Force has been working to educate the public about the harmful effects of alcohol, drugs and cigarettes upon fetal development. 

Information about the work of the FASD Task Force, including the Maternal Child Health Consortia, NJ Diagnostic Centers and the Arc of NJ can be found at www.beintheknownj.org

NJ DHS Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder PSA 
 
 
 
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