About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. These may include physical, mental, behavioural, and/or learning disabilities. The effects are life-long.

There is great variability in the characteristics of those affected depending on such factors as the amount and timing of exposure to alcohol. Effects are often invisible which leave individuals more vulnerable and misunderstood.

Health Canada estimates that approximately 9 in every 1,000 infants are born with FASD. There is no known safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.


Every September, BC marks FASD Prevention and Support Month and Day (Sept 9). On the ninth day of the ninth month, people in BC and around the world mark the day to help raise awareness about the dangers of drinking while pregnant. The day was chosen to symbolize the nine months of pregnancy.

BC has a reputation as a leader in the field of FASD prevention, diagnosis, assessment, intervention, and support grew with the release of a 10 year provincial plan called Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Building on Strengths (2008-2018). The plan outlines advancements in the field and provides a framework for strategic government-wide priorities.

In this section you will find info on prevention, assessment & diagnosis, and family support as well as other helpful information.