What CDC Is Doing

What to know

CDC works with partners across the country to address alcohol and other substance use during pregnancy and FASDs. Their scientific findings help inform evidence-based care and resources. They collaborate to provide training to healthcare professionals and disseminate updated information.

People reviewing data


CDC addresses alcohol and other substance use during pregnancy and FASDs. CDC works with partners across the country to develop systems to

  • Monitor alcohol and other substance use during pregnancy and potential outcomes
  • Conduct epidemiologic studies to identify maternal risk factors associated with FASDs
  • Implement and evaluate FASD prevention and intervention programs

Understanding alcohol use during pregnancy

CDC estimates how much and how often pregnant people report alcohol use and binge drinking as well as use multiple substances. These data are important to help reduce prenatal alcohol use. They help by identifying groups at increased risk and designing prevention programs to reduce risk behaviors.

Promoting evidence-based care

CDC and partners support the implementation, adoption, and promotion of evidence-based interventions to reduce alcohol use during pregnancy, including alcohol screening and brief counseling. We are also working together to promote effective treatments for children, adolescents, and young adults living with FASDs, and their families. Early identification and management of FASDs can help children living with FASDs and their families receive the care and services they need to thrive.

Providing training and resources

CDC enhances healthcare provider education by providing free online training courses on preventing prenatal alcohol use and identifying and caring for people with FASDs. We also offer FASD-related educational information and materials as well as disseminating guidelines on alcohol use, including the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Disseminating accurate, up-to-date information

CDC educates and informs the general public and policymakers about effective strategies for reducing excessive alcohol use, such as those recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force (for example, limiting alcohol sales).

Doctor sharing information with a patient
CDC efforts support evidence-based care and resources

Partnerships and collaborations

CDC partners and collaborates with others to improve practice and education and enhance data collection. These efforts aim to help prevent alcohol use during pregnancy and to help individuals living with FASDs. CDC supports the following activities:

National partner network

CDC-RFA-DD22-2201, National Partnerships to Address Prenatal Alcohol and Other Substance Use and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, intends to build a collaborative framework of national partner organizations. This network contributes to 1) reducing prenatal alcohol and other substance use, 2) improving support services and access to care, and 3) improving identification and health of children and families with FASDs.


  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • University of Alaska Anchorage
  • University of Nevada, Reno
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • Montana State University
  • FASD United (formerly NOFAS)
  • Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Inc.

Period of performance: 9/30/2022–9/29/2026

FASD surveillance efforts

CDC-RFA-DD22-2202, I-FASD: Understanding Clinical Data and Pathways to Inform Surveillance of Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, is a feasibility project. It seeks to characterize information accessible within health-related data systems for children suspected of or diagnosed with FASDs. It also aims to describe the referral, evaluation, and diagnosis processes. Findings will be used to inform the development of future public health surveillance activities.


  • Emory University
  • Minnesota Department of Health

Period of performance: 9/1/2022–8/31/2025

Child welfare project

CDC and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Children's Bureau are working together to improve the identification and care of children who were exposed to alcohol and other drugs during pregnancy.

The goal of the Prenatal Alcohol and Other Drug Exposures in Child Welfare project is to improve the health and developmental outcomes of children in the welfare system who were exposed to alcohol and other drugs during pregnancy. Over the course of this multi-year project, activities included the following:

Completion of a descriptive study exploring current knowledge, attitudes, policies, practices, and needs of child welfare agencies for identifying and caring for children who were exposed to alcohol and other drugs during pregnancy, as well as caring for their families. Highlights of project findings are reported in Prenatal Alcohol and Other Drug Exposures in Child Welfare Study: Final Report and Case Study on Prenatal Substance Exposure in Tribal Child Welfare.

Development of an online toolkit of resources is in progress. This toolkit will be based on the best available evidence of success for training professional staff, families, and foster families to promote identification, referral, and care of children who were exposed to alcohol and other drugs during pregnancy to reduce risk of harm and to improve child and family outcomes.