Commissioners Proclaim September 9 Fetal Alcohol Awareness Day

Jefferson County Commissioners Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder Awareness Day ProclamationBROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) –The Jefferson County Commissioners September 8 issued a proclamation declaring September 9 Fetal Alcohol Disorders Awareness Day in Jefferson County.

The proclamation was made by commissioners Paul Corbin, Jeffrey Pisarcik, and James McIntyre at the request of the Clearfield-Jefferson Drug & Alcohol Commission.

John Schuster, a prevention supervisor with the Clearfield-Jefferson Drug & Alcohol Commission, told the commissioners it is essential for women who are pregnant and those considering becoming pregnant to avoid alcohol.

“There is no safe amount of alcohol which can be consumed by a woman at any time during a pregnancy,” Schuster said.

(Photo: Commissioner James McIntyre (with pen) prepares to sign the proclamation declaring September 9 Fetal Alcohol Disorders Awareness Day in Jefferson County as (left to right) Commissioner Jeffrey Pisarcik, Clearfield-Jefferson Drug & Alcohol Commission Prevention Supervisor John Schuster, and Clearfield-Jefferson Drug & Alcohol Commission intern Derek Dixson look on. Dixson is a Clarion University student who will spend 600 hours working with the Drug & Alcohol Commission.)

The commissioners’ proclamation is below:

Whereas, The term “fetal alcohol spectrum syndrome” (FASD) is an umbrella term that describes the range of effects that can occur in a baby whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy, with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) being the most involved condition along the spectrum; and

Whereas, prenatal alcohol exposure is the leading preventable cause of birth defects, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and;

Whereas, the exact number of people who have FASDs is unknown but it is estimated that about 40,000 babies are born with effects of prenatal alcohol exposure annually; and,

Whereas, the lifetime cost for one individual with FAS is estimated to be $2 million, with a combined cost to the United States for FAS alone at over $4 billion annually; and

Whereas, 7.6 percent of pregnant women, or about 1 in 13, and 51.1 percent of non-pregnant women report drinking alcohol within the past 30 days; and

Whereas, about half of all pregnancies are unplanned, contributing to the late entry into prenatal care and presenting a barrier to optimal pregnancy management, particularly during the crucial early weeks of embryonic development; and

Whereas, the good health and well-being of the people of Jefferson County are enhanced by the support of a national effort to educate about and prevent FASDs; and

Whereas, the Clearfield-Jefferson Drug & Alcohol Commission and the Drug Free Communities Coalition join with the Jefferson County Commissioners as well as many dedicated volunteers, health care professionals, educators, and parent groups by participating in this promotion.

Now, therefore, we the Jefferson County Commissioners do hereby declare September 9 as Fetal Alcohol Disorders Awareness Day and pledge to continue to partner with organizations, health care professionals, educators, and the public to raise awareness about our unified message: “Pregnancy and alcohol don’t mix. Why take the risk?”

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