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Int J Addict. 1995;30(12):1549-602.

A multiple-level, comprehensive approach to the prevention of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and other alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD).

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Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions (CASAA), University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 87106, USA.


A comprehensive program for the prevention of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD) must consider multiple approaches and utilize knowledge from a variety of academic disciplines. Issues related to culture, society, behavior, belief systems, and medicine must all be considered for both etiology and solutions. A broad paradigm such as a public health model integrates various elements of approach. Because FAS and other levels of ARBD form a spectrum, from severe to negligible damage, a variety of drinking patterns with various characteristics and etiologies have to be addressed. This paper describes a multiple-level, comprehensive program with primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention components. Practical recommendations are proposed for addressing ARBD in a variety of arenas. While secondary and tertiary prevention hold promise for short-term reduction of FAS and ARBD prevalence, comprehensive prevention serves both short- and long-term effects. Multiple level prevention efforts are well served by clear and compelling vision and mission statements, and require careful evaluation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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