National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

Intergovernmental committee on Drugs working party on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Australia: An Update

June 2012


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Table of contents

This monograph is an outcome of the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs (IGCD) Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Working Party. The Working Party was first established in 2006, at the request of the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy (MCDS), to advise on the developments in Australia and overseas in regard to FASD and to identify best practice approaches to reduce the incidence of FASD, particularly in Indigenous communities.

The monograph provides an opportunity to examine the current status of research, policy and practice regarding alcohol use in pregnancy in Australia, particularly in relation to FASD. The monograph notes areas where additional attention is required and enhancements to existing practices are needed to improve the current situation with regard to prevention, early intervention and long term management of this avoidable condition.

A first draft was completed in late 2009. During 2010 and 2011, a number of these activities were put in place and funded by government and non-government organisations, as summarised in Chapter 12.

Many people have contributed to the development of this monograph, notably the chapter authors. In July 2011, the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DOHA) commissioned an update of the monograph. The original authors of each chapter were contacted and asked to update their contributions. To ensure the document included recent relevant literature, authors were asked to provide information about new publications. In addition, searches of the recent literature were conducted at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. As the focus of the monograph is on the current Australian context, a list of references from Australian studies has been included (Appendix 2) with hyperlinks provided. Chapter 12 was added to highlight nationwide activities on FASD and to provide an update on progress since the original (2009) report. A table containing recent research into alcohol use in pregnancy and FASD research has also been included.

We would like to extend our thanks to the chapter authors and to the members of the FASD Working Party for their active participation and support.

Elizabeth Elliott
Deputy Chair
IGCD FASD Working Party
Editor FASD Monograph

Lucy Burns
Editor FASD Monograph

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