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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Adoption Date:
May 1, 1980

Public Policy Statement on the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


**Note: This historical policy statement is available as part of ASAM's Policy Archives, but it is no longer considered current ASAM policy. Please contact ASAM's advocacy staff at advocacy@asam.org for questions related to ASAM's position on this topic.

Observations of human babies and of experimentally treated animals have made it clear that a mother's heavy drinking may severely damage her unborn child. We do not know the exact amount or timing of drinking that causes these effects. We cannot say whether there is a safe amount of drinking or whether there is a safe time during pregnancy. We do know that heavy drinking may be damaging. Women should, therefore, be especially cautious about drinking during pregnancy and when they are likely to be pregnant; however, because of the possibility of risk, and in order to be totally safe, a woman should not drink at all during her pregnancy.

Research is proceeding vigorously in this area. ASAM supports and encourages this important research and urges both public and private agencies to continue their support of research on the effects of alcohol on the fetus.