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Senate Committee Moves Resolution Proclaiming Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day

(JUNEAU) – Senate Concurrent Resolution 12, which will establish a “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day”, passed out of Senate Health and Social Services Committee yesterday.

SCR 12 would proclaim September 9, 2010 as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day.

“Alaska has the highest known incidence of FASD in the United States,” said Senator Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, the prime sponsor of the resolution.  “This is a condition caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol, which can result in permanent brain damage, birth defects, learning disabilities, behavioral problems and most tragically, the loss of individual potential.”

SCR 12 would observe FASD Awareness Day by promoting the awareness of the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol.

While FASD affects all racial and socioeconomic groups, it is a 100% preventable condition.  FASD Awareness Day is observed internationally on September 9th.  This serves as a reminder on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should abstain from alcohol.

According to the McDowell Group in their 2005 update on Economic Costs of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse in Alaska, the lifetime costs of medical and residential services for a sample size of 15 children born in Alaska with FASD can be upward of 47 million dollars.

“What is so frustrating is that this is a totally preventable condition, said Senator Meyer.  “Attitudes and behavior towards drunk driving and smoking have shifted.  I think with increased awareness and education we can turn the tide on FASD.”

SCR 12 now goes to the full Senate for its approval.

For more information, contact Senator Meyer or Christine Marasigan 907-465-4945.

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