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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Special awareness day this Sunday

  • The regular meeting of the Wayne County Commissioners on Thursday brought with it awareness of what is becoming a widespread problem.
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  • - The regular meeting of the Wayne County Commissioners on Thursday brought with it awareness of what is becoming a widespread problem.
    Margie Weber and Charlotte Meyers of Wayne County Drug and Alcohol Commission were present at the meeting to present a proclamation to make Sept. 9 Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Awareness Day in Wayne County.
    This special day of awareness has been observed internationally on Sept. 9 since 1999 "in order that on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, the world will remember that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should abstain from alcohol."
    Weber says this particular spectrum "is 100 percent preventable" and she is striving to make mothers aware that "there is no safe alcohol use at all during pregnancy."
    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is "very hard to diagnose," Weber said. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), FASD is "an umbrella term" used to describe various permanent birth defects "caused by maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy." This term includes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
    Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was identified as a disorder "more than 30 years ago," according to the proclamation.
    The effects of alcohol on the unborn child range from physical, behavioral and cognitive.
    Weber said some of the symptoms can be, but aren't limited to, "stunted growth, facial abnormalities and mental retardation." Other types of issues can be a secondary disability, like "trouble with the law, substance abuse issues, disruptive school experiences employment problems and homelessness."
    The diagnosis of FASD is so difficult because "women don't talk about their drinking."
    Commissioner Brian Smith read the proclamation into the record and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Awareness Day will be this Sunday, Sept. 9 at 9:09 a.m.
    Weber says that "there is help" for women who need it. If you, or someone you know, needs help the Wayne County Drug and Alcohol Commission can be reached at 253-6022. The services provided are confidential.
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