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CAMH Stories Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

International FASD Awareness Day 2017

International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day – held on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year to symbolize the nine months of pregnancy – aims to bring attention to the risks of prenatal exposure to alcohol. Pregnant woman
FASD is the leading known cause of preventable developmental disability in many countries, including Canada. FASD cannot be cured, and has lifelong impacts on affected individuals, their families and society.

People with FASD may have a wide range of adverse health effects, including physical, brain and central nervous system disabilities, as well as cognitive, behavioural and emotional issues.

FASD is a relatively prevalent alcohol-related disorder that occurs throughout society. Globally, nearly eight out of every 1,000 children in the general population is estimated to have FASD, according to a newly released CAMH study in JAMA Pediatrics. In Canada, the prevalence is the same as the global average – eight out of 1,000 children has FASD. The researchers also found that FASD occurred more frequently among children in care (such as foster care or orphanages), in the criminal justice system, in psychiatric care and aboriginal young people, compared to the general population.

In the same study, the researchers also estimated that one out of 13 women who consumed any alcohol at any point or frequency during pregnancy delivered a child with FASD.

You can find out more about FASD in these resources:

Personal stories:

Guilt, shame and redemption: coping with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Generational legacy: the devastation of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Breaking the cycle of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

FASD: A parent's perspective


Video: FASD Awareness Day


Research: The global toll of fetal alcohol syndrome

Research: More than 400 conditions co-occur with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), CAMH study finds 

Research: The impact of fetal alcohol exposure

On the CAMHblog: Every day should be Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day

Educational materials:

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder – health information for clients and families

FASD resources for health care professionals, clients and families – overview, clinical guidelines, assessment and diagnosis, treatment

FASD 2016 infographic

Published on September 8, 2017
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