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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

The Government of Canada's Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Initiative seeks to prevent FASD and improve outcomes for those who are already affected, including their families and communities. The FASD Initiative is led by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in partnership with Health Canada External link. This website provides information on FASD and its effects, current funded projects and funding opportunities, up-to-date resources, and links to other FASD websites.

What is FASD?

FASD describes a range of disabilities that result from exposure to alcohol during pregnancy. The medical diagnoses of FASD include:

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
  • Partial FASD (pFAS)
  • Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)

What are the effects of FASD?

FASD is the leading known cause of preventable developmental disability among Canadians. It is estimated that FASD affects approximately one percent of the Canadian population.

FASD cannot be cured and has lifelong impacts on individuals, their families, and society. Effects, including alcohol-related birth defects, can vary from mild to severe and may include a range of physical, brain and central nervous system disabilities, as well as cognitive, behavioural and emotional issues.

Canada's new Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines External link advise that there is no safe amount, and no safe time, to drink alcohol during pregnancy.

Links to more information about FASD: