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Joint Campaign with DAODAS Aims to Combat Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

DSS Contact: Tiffiney Miles

DAODAS Contact: Jimmy Mount

Joint Campaign with DAODAS Aims to Combat Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Sept 8, 2022- Governor Henry McMaster has proclaimed September as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) Awareness Month. In support of FASDs Awareness Month, the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) and the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) have partnered to launch a statewide campaign to address the impact of these disorders.

FASDs are a group of irreversible conditions that can occur in a person who was exposed to alcohol before birth, with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) being the most recognizable disorder due to distinctive facial features, cognitive problems, and impaired growth. FASD Awareness Month is an expansion of FASD Awareness Day, which has been observed internationally each year on September 9th since 1999.

The “Don’t Risk It” campaign in South Carolina aims to educate and provide resources for pregnant women, families, medical providers, and organizations about the dangers of prenatal alcohol consumption, and the permanent effects it can cause in the form of FASDs. As part of the campaign, hospitals, churches, and other community-based organizations will receive flyers to educate families about FASDs and address common myths about drinking while pregnant. The campaign is also utilizing a new website, www.DontRiskItSC.Com. The goal is to connect families and organizations to localized resources and treatment options for FASDs.

“Alcohol, like carbon monoxide from cigarettes, passes easily through the placenta from the mother’s bloodstream into her baby’s blood during pregnancy,” said DAODAS Director Sara Goldsby. “So every time a pregnant woman has a drink of alcohol, her unborn child has one too. It is crucial for all women to understand that FASDs are 100% preventable and 0% curable.”

“No person should go through lifelong conditions because of prenatal alcohol exposure as it can be prevented during pregnancy,” says DSS State Director Michael Leach. “Through this collaborative partnership with DAODAS, it is our goal to not only shed light on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders but to bring us one step closer to preventing them.”

Signs of FASDs can include:


  • Hyperactivity
  • Lack of concentration
  • Abnormal physical features such as small head size, low body weight, and underdeveloped facial features
  • Hearing and vision problems
  • Intellectual and behavioral disabilities
  • Difficulty with reasoning and judgment
  • Problems with the kidneys, bones, brain, or heart

There is no safe amount or type of alcohol to consume during pregnancy or when trying to become pregnant. To prevent FASDs, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends abstaining from all alcohol consumption throughout pregnancy. For continuing information on resources, please visit the DontRiskItSC website.



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Do you have a complaint regarding services being provided to a child by a state agency? Please submit your complaint by phone (1-800-206-1957) or an electronic submission form here with the South Carolina Department of Children's Advocacy.