NOFAS works to prevent prenatal exposure to alcohol and other substances of abuse known to harm fetal development by raising awareness and supporting women before and during their pregnancy, and supports individuals, families, and communities living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) and other preventable intellectual/developmental disabilities.
A world where all children are born free of exposure to alcohol and other substances of abuse known to harm fetal development.
NOFAS educates the public, practitioners, and policymakers about the risk of prenatal exposure to alcohol and other substances of abuse known to harm fetal development including tobacco, marijuana, heroin and other opioids, cocaine, and methamphetamine, recognizing that these substances are often used simultaneously. NOFAS supports individuals and families living with FASDs through referrals, advocacy, training for professionals, information dissemination, and a wide range of diverse initiatives and resources.
Shared Values and Beliefs
We believe FASDs are a national health crisis. Nearly 100,000 newborns in the U.S. every year are exposed to heavy or binge drinking—the highest risk for FASDs—during their prenatal development. Alcohol and pregnancy education must be elevated to a higher public health priority and medical and mental health care systems must better serve all families in need.
We believe society still does not see or understand the magnitude of FASDs. Many myths and misconceptions about the risk of alcohol use during pregnancy remain despite nearly 45 years of clinical research. Broad public education and media outreach must be sustained to teach the facts about FASDs and the risk of alcohol use during pregnancy.
We believe that to open the minds of those who can make a difference, we must remove the addiction and maternal stigma. Alcohol dependence is a chronic, progressive disease that can be successfully treated. Treatment works, saves money and prevents future FASDs. Shaming and punishing birth mothers perpetuates the crisis and misunderstanding of the issue.
We believe that …
- FASDs are the leading preventable cause of developmental disabilities and birth defects, and a leading known cause of learning disabilities.
- Annual births of FASDs are greater than the new cases each year of Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, spina bifida, and sudden infant death syndrome – COMBINED.
- Prevention is at least ten-times more cost effective than the $1.4 million lifetime cost to treat one person with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
- FASDs can affect anyone regardless of ethnicity, income, or educational level.
- FASDs are preventable when newborns are not prenatally exposed to alcohol.
- Children and adults living with FASDs can succeed with access to services and appropriate interventions.
- Birth mothers affected by addiction and alcohol use disorders deserve therapeutic intervention and treatment.
- Families and caregivers living with FASDs deserve a voice among researchers and policymakers.
- Effectively communicate the facts about the significant risk and potential harm of prenatal exposure to alcohol and other substances of abuse know to be harmful to fetal development including tobacco, marijuana, heroin and other opioids, cocaine, and methamphetamine.
- Promote national policies that enhance knowledge of FASDs, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, and other potentially disabling outcomes associated with prenatal exposure to substances of abuse known to harm fetal development.
- Expand access to services for individuals and families living with FASDs.
- Promote healthy practices during pregnancy including proper nutrition, appropriate exercise, early and regular prenatal care, and abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, heroin and other opioids, cocaine and methamphetamine.
- Extend our reach through partnerships and coalitions.
- Maintain our credibility and distinguished public standing within the global FASD and addiction communities and among the public at-large.
- Diversify and increase revenue streams and resources to accomplish our mission.
- Ensure that our team has the focus of mission, the resources to be productive, and the passion to succeed.