Fetal Alcohol Syndrome -- The Biological Basis / FAS FASD Video





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Published on Dec 31, 2008

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome -- The Biological Basis

Courtesy of:

National Institute on
Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
5635 Fishers Lane, MSC 9304
Bethesda, MD 20892-9304

Over 375,000 newborn babies have been exposed to drugs in utero. The film promotes zero tolerance for alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and drugs for all pregnant women. The purpose of the video is to promote awareness of the problem among teenagers who are at risk for both unplanned pregnancy and substance use. This gripping film take a serious, no-holds-barred look at what happens when pregnant women use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. The film includes an examination of prenatal drug and alcohol abuse, fetal alcohol syndrome, nicotine's effect on unborn babies, risks for AIDS, SIDS and FAS, drug effects at various stages of pregnancy, how drugs affect unborn babies and other relation social and emotional problems. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and a spectrum of associated disorders, sometimes called Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), is a permanent birth defect caused by maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. The term fetal alcohol effects (FAE) or alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) is applied to children whose mothers are known to have drunk heavily during pregnancy and who exhibit some, but not all, features of alcohol-related facial malformation. FASD is the leading cause of mental retardation in the Western world and is entirely preventable. It has been estimated that one in 1000 children born suffers from FAS, and one in 100 suffers milder effects (FAE) of maternal prenatal alcohol exposure.

The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) is committed to developing and implementing innovative ideas in prevention, education, intervention, and advocacy in communities both nationally and internationally. The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) provides information and research on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) including referral information across the United States with a national and state directory; Web resources with an extensive list of sites that discuss FASD; the latest events and activities with an up-to-date calendar of events; and information on addressing FASD through the NOFAS programs. A. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is the severe end of a spectrum of effects that can occur when a woman drinks during pregnancy. Fetal death is the most extreme outcome. FAS is a disorder characterized by abnormal facial features, and growth and central nervous system (CNS) problems. If a pregnant woman drinks alcohol but her child does not have all of the symptoms of FAS, it is possible that her child has an alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND). Children with ARND do not have full FAS, but may demonstrate learning and behavioral problems caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. Children with FAS are at risk for psychiatric problems, criminal behavior, unemployment, and incomplete education. These secondary conditions are problems that an individual is not born with, but might acquire as a result of FAS. These conditions can be very serious, yet there are protective factors that have been found to help individuals with these problems. For example, a child who is diagnosed early in life can be placed in appropriate educational classes and given access to social services that can help the child and his or her family. Children with FAS who receive special education are more likely to achieve their developmental and educational potential. In addition, children with FAS need a loving, nurturing, and stable home life in order to avoid disruptions, transient lifestyles, or harmful relationships. Children with FAS who live in abusive or unstable households or become involved in youth violence are much more likely to develop secondary conditions than children with FAS who have not had such negative experiences. For further assistance, contact NOFAS at 1-800-66-NOFAS.


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