Pennsylvania DDAP Secretary Gary Tennis Urges Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) SecretaryGary Tennis is urging women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant to not consume alcohol and for all citizens to be supportive of their decision to refrain from alcohol use.

"The message is simple but very important: zero alcohol use for women seeking to become pregnant and during pregnancy," said Tennis. "By educating the public about the dangers, we hope to reduce the number of babies born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and give more babies healthy futures."

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is the technical term for a range of effects that can occur in children exposed to alcohol during fetal development. FASD is preventable, yet it affects more infants in the United States than spina bifida, down syndrome and muscular dystrophy combined.

In Pennsylvania, September has been designated as FASD Awareness Month.

DDAP participates in the Pennsylvania FASD Task Force, a group of experts, concerned citizens and other stakeholders working together to prevent FASD and advance care for people living with FASD. To underscore the importance of the zero-alcohol message, DDAP sent more than 3,000 baby bottles containing an FASD prevention message to OB/GYN offices and other providers serving pregnant women for distribution to patients throughout the commonwealth.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs

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