Community Organizations and Government Officials Call for Action to Prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

September 9, 2008
Contact:
Follow-up Contact:
Gwendolyn Mitchell/Lingxia Meng
Nancy Bain
Office of Public Affairs Department of Alcohol & Drug Services
(408) 299-5119
(408) 272-6565
Community Organizations and Government Officials Call for Action to
Prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Absolutely No Alcohol during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding!
SAN JOSE, CALIF.— Today, residents and community organizations joined the
Santa Clara County Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Task Force, State
Assemblyman Jim Beall and County of Santa Clara Supervisor Liz Kniss in a
“walkabout” from the Hall of Justice to the County Government Center to
increase awareness of FASD.
“Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are 100% preventable,” said Supervisor Liz
Kniss, Chair of the Board of Supervisors’ Health and Hospital Committee. “All
women need to know that consuming alcoholic beverages while pregnant can
have devastating affects on the fetus.”
FASD affects an estimated 40,000 infants nationwide annually – more than Spina
Bifida, Down’s Syndrome and Muscular Dystrophy combined.
“Many expectant parents assume that only heavy drinking can harm their unborn
child, but in reality, there is no known safe level of drinking – medical science
tells us that,” said California State Assemblyman Jim Beall. “I hope today’s news
conference will help raise awareness of the dangers of drinking while pregnant.”
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can severely damage the development,
structure and functioning of the fetal brain. About 1 in 12 pregnant women
nationwide reported consuming alcohol and about 1 in 30 pregnant women said
they had engaged in binge drinking according to the US Center for Disease
Control. More than any other drug, pregnant women most commonly use alcohol.
As a result, fetal alcohol syndrome is one of the leading known preventable
causes of birth defects and developmental disabilities.

“Not only is there no safe amount of alcohol a pregnant woman can drink, but
there is no safe time during the pregnancy or during breastfeeding,” said Nancy
Bain, County Department of Alcohol & Drug Services. “For those women who are
unable to quit on their own, we want them to know that the County of Santa Clara
provides drug and alcohol treatment services."
The County of Santa Clara Department of Drug and Alcohol Services provides
several different levels of FASD treatment services. Women can call the county’s
Gateway program at (800) 488-9919 if they need help quitting drinking during
pregnancy. Gateway will refer them to a program based on the results of the
screening/assessment and their location. Cost of the services is dependent on
the individual’s ability to afford. The service may be free to extremely low income
women. For more information, go to: www.sccdads.org
About FASD
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or FASD is an umbrella term describing the
range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol
during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral,
and/or learning disabilities and can have lifelong implications.
###

Residents and community organizations joined the Santa Clara County Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Task Force to increase awareness of FASD

Credited Supervisors

Collection

Elizabeth H. Kniss

Content Type

Press Release

Resource Type

Document

Date

09/09/2008

District

District 5

Creator

Office of Public Affairs

Language

Rights

No Copyright: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/