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ARC Smart Start FASD Prevention Project

When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, the result can be a range of permanent physical, cognitive and/or behavioral problems – collectively called Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is the most recognizable of these disorders.

  • FASD is the leading cause of mental retardation.
  • There are more cases of FASD than cases of Down’s Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, and Spina Bifida combined.
  • Alcohol causes more damage to the fetus than any other drug.
  • Each year in the US more than 5,000 babies are born with FAS.
  • At least 5 times as many are born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
  • FASD is 100% preventable.
  • Only cause is alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
  • No amount of alcohol is known to be safe during pregnancy.

ARC's Smart Start FASD Prevention Project has implemented an FASD prevention protocol based on motivational interviewing with high-risk women in nine of ARC's gender-sensitive substance abuse treatment programs serving the needs of women and their children in Dane County. Project goals include the following:

  • Abstinence from drinking alcohol during pregnancy
  • Abstinence from drinking alcohol during childbearing years (ages 18 to 44)
  • Effective use of birth control methods if sexually active and actively drinking

Alcohol Use in Wisconsin

Wisconsin ranks #1 for women who binge drink between the ages of 18-44.

  • In Wisconsin, over 66% of women of childbearing age (18-44) drink alcohol.
  • Over 25% of Wisconsin women screened positive for at-risk drinking
  • Wisconsin has the highest prevalence in the US of reported frequent alcohol consumption
    among women ages 18-44 with 25.26%

What can we do?
  • Educate ourselves.
  • Educate the public.
  • Get help for children who have FASD
  • Act as an advocate for adults with FASD

Project Smart Start


Frequently Asked Questions



Project Contact Information

Paulette Romashko, Project Director
ARC Community Services, Inc.
2001 West Beltline Hwy, Suite 102
Madison, WI 53713
Phone: 608-278-2300
Fax: 608-278-2313

Copyright © 2006, ARC Community Services, All Rights Reserved.