On 9 September 2019, International FASD Awareness Day, an inquiry was referred to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee into effective approaches to prevention and diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and strategies for optimising life outcomes for people with FASD.
Individuals, organisations, and institutions across Australia made submissions which explored the breadth of the impact of FASD on Australian communities. NOFASD Australia reviewed all submissions and extracted a series of quotes which define themes that arose across the submissions.
In today’s blog, we explore the theme of prevention of FASD in Australia.
- FASD is a preventable disability;
- FASD is caused by prenatal alcohol exposure so can be prevented by planning alcohol-free pregnancies;
- 1/3 of women are unaware of the dangerous effects alcohol has on a developing fetus;
- If women are drinking alcohol and engaging in sexual activity, the best solution is to use contraception to prevent pregnancy;
- Everyone can support women in their community to abstain from alcohol while trying to conceive, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding;
- Australia has a binge drinking culture, with teenagers commonly beginning drinking before 18 years of age. This trend is slowing but has created many opportunities for the development of FASD;
- Prevention of FASD requires education for the entire community aimed at creating lasting change in Australia’s drinking culture; and
- Fathers can play a role in FASD prevention, read this blog to find out how.
The final report from the Senate inquiry was released on 17th March 2021.
Stay tuned to the NOFASD blogs for a summary of the findings.