Skip to main content

News & Events

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

International FASD Awareness Day is September 9th


On September 9th each year, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recognizes International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day as a reminder that that there is no safe amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of the first clinical reports by U.S. researchers identifying fetal alcohol syndrome. Today, the term FASD refers to the collective lifelong physical, behavioral, and cognitive impairments that occur due to prenatal alcohol exposure.

FASD-related impairments can range from mild to severe and contribute to a variety of issues such as learning disabilities, speech and language delays, visual and hearing problems, problems with critical organs, and social challenges throughout a person's life. In the United States, prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading preventable cause of birth defects. An estimated 1 to 5 percent of U.S. first graders are affected by FASD, according to an NIAAA-supported study.

This FASD Awareness Day, learn more about how prenatal alcohol exposure impacts health—see NIAAA’s online resources, including our web page Prenatal Alcohol Exposure.

For anyone experiencing problems with alcohol—especially people who are or might be pregnant and are finding it difficult to stop drinking—it is important to know that there are treatment options and resources that can help. Talking to a health care provider or visiting the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator can be a good place to start.


A photo of children raising their hands in a classroom. Text reads: 1 percent to 5 percent of U.S. children in the first grade are affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Looking for U.S. government information and services?