Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Adult

What Is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most serious type of FASD. People with fetal alcohol syndrome have facial abnormalities, including wide-set and narrow eyes, growth problems, and nervous system abnormalities. There is a total of five disorders that comprise fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. They are fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), partial […]

What Is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most serious type of FASD. People with fetal alcohol syndrome have facial abnormalities, including wide-set and narrow eyes, growth problems, and nervous system abnormalities. There is a total of five disorders that comprise fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. They are fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), partial fetal alcohol syndrome (pFAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), a neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE), and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD). All of these fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are used to classify the wide-ranging physical and neurological effects that prenatal alcohol exposure can inflict on a fetus.

The effects of alcohol use disorder and alcoholism can extend not only to the person who is drinking but also to the individual’s loved ones. A clear example of this is fetal alcohol syndrome adult (FAS). This condition, which occurs when a mother is pregnant and continues to drink during her pregnancy, can have a lasting impact on the child that lasts throughout his or her lifetime.

Seeking treatment for alcoholism or substance abuse? before becoming pregnant or as soon as a person learns of her pregnancy is the best way to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome. We Level Up TX offers treatment programs that can help a woman overcome an alcohol use disorder and lead a healthy life in sobriety.


FASDs can occur when a person is exposed to alcohol before birth. Alcohol in the mother’s blood passes to the baby through the umbilical cord. There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy or when trying to get pregnant. There is also no safe time to drink during pregnancy. Alcohol can cause problems for a developing baby throughout pregnancy, including before a woman knows she’s pregnant. All types of alcohol are equally harmful, including all wines and beer.

To prevent FASDs, a woman should avoid alcohol if she is pregnant or might be pregnant. This is because a woman could get pregnant and not know for up to 4 to 6 weeks. It is never too late to stop alcohol use during pregnancy. Because brain growth takes place throughout pregnancy, stopping alcohol use will improve the baby’s health and well-being. FASDs are preventable if a baby is not exposed to alcohol before birth. [1]

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Adult
The life expectancy at birth of people with FAS was 34 years (95% confidence interval: 31 to 37 years), which was about 42% of fetal alcohol syndrome adults in the general population.

Risk Factors

All of the conditions that comprise fetal alcohol spectrum disorders stem from one common cause, which is prenatal exposure to alcohol. Alcohol effects are extremely teratogenic to a fetus. Its effects are wide-ranging and irreversible. Although higher amounts of prenatal alcohol exposure have been linked to increased incidence and severity of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, there are no studies that demonstrate a safe amount of alcohol that can be consumed during pregnancy.

There is also no safe time during pregnancy in which alcohol can be consumed without risk to the fetus. Alcohol is teratogenic during all three trimesters. In summary, any amount of alcohol consumed at any point during pregnancy has the potential to cause irreversible damage that can lead to a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. [2]


Drinking during pregnancy can lead to a range of physical, learning, and behavioral effects on the developing brain, the most serious of which is a collection of symptoms known as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Children with FAS may have distinct facial features. FAS infants also are markedly smaller than average. Their brains may have less volume (i.e., microencephaly). And they may have fewer numbers of brain cells (i.e., neurons) or fewer neurons that are able to function correctly, leading to long–term problems in learning and behavior.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Symptoms In Adults

FASDs refer to a collection of diagnoses that represent the range of effects that can happen to a person who was exposed to alcohol before birth. These conditions can affect each person in different ways and can range from mild to severe.

A person with an FASD might have:

  • Low body weight
  • Poor coordination
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Difficulty with attention
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty in school (especially with math)
  • Learning disabilities
  • Speech and language delays
  • Intellectual disability or low IQ
  • Poor reasoning and judgment skills
  • Sleep and sucking problems as a baby
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones
  • shorter-than-average height
  • Small head size
  • Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip (this ridge is called the philtrum)

Fetal alcohol syndrome adults have high rates of psychiatric and personality disorders, problems with drug addiction and alcohol, and difficulties with the law. They are also less likely to obtain a degree, have stable employment, and live independently.

How To Diagnose Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Adults

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person who was exposed to alcohol before birth. These effects can include physical problems and problems with behavior and learning. Often, a person with an FASD has a mix of these problems. Diagnosing FASD can be hard because there is no specific test for it. The health care provider will make a diagnosis by looking at the child’s signs and symptoms and asking whether the mother drank alcohol during pregnancy.

Different fetal alcohol spectrum disorders diagnoses are based on particular symptoms and include Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Adult (FAS): FAS represents the most involved end of the FASD spectrum. Fetal alcohol syndrome adults have central nervous system (CNS) problems, minor facial features, and growth problems.

Individuals with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) may have distinct facial features.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Adult
Illustration from: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [3]

Long Term Effects Of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome In Adults

The long-term consequences of fetal alcohol syndrome adults include physical, mental, and behavioral abnormalities. Scientists are investigating the use of complex motor training and medications to prevent or reverse the alcohol-related brain damage found in people prenatally exposed to alcohol.

Some of the fetal alcohol syndrome adult’s physical defects may be minor or even unnoticeable. However, some deformities in the facial area can signify brain damage in the individual. Fetal alcohol syndrome adults often have a significantly higher rate of arrest and incarceration than people without this condition. In fact, studies have shown that up to half of all fetal alcohol syndrome adults will experience trouble with the law at least once in their lifetime. Crimes committed by individuals with FAS are often due to the developmental and mental effects of this condition. For example, a person may steal because he or she is unable to understand the concept of ownership.

Many fetal alcohol syndrome adults require specialized care to successfully cope with life. With help, many people with FAS are able to lead productive and relatively independent lives. The best way to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome adult is for the mother to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy. 

Preventing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – Alcoholism Treatment

Fetal alcohol syndrome adult can last a lifetime. There is no cure for FASDs, but research shows that early intervention treatment services can improve a child’s development. There are many types of treatment options, including medication to help with some symptoms, behavior and education therapy, parent training, and other alternative approaches. No one treatment is right for every child. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups, and changes as needed along the way.

The best way to prevent this condition is to stop drinking alcohol now. We Level Up TX addiction treatment provides the needs of each client that are specific and personalized, as we aim to provide comprehensive support for mental health, alcoholism, and dual diagnosis treatment.


Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of alcoholism including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – It is an effective treatment that involves making changes in both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of an alcoholic person.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – It is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Person-Centered Therapy – It is a strategy that allows and encourages clients to understand and resolve their concerns in a safe, supportive environment.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Adult
Fetal alcohol syndrome adult is often accompanied by alcohol-related birth defects (ARBDs), such as problems with the heart, kidneys, skeleton, ears, and eyes. Prevent this condition by avoiding alcohol now!

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers Texas

Drinking alcohol causes brain damage and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorder and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. In this strategy, both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder are treated simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend largely on the treatment for both disorders done by the same team or provider.

Medication-Assisted Treatment Inpatient Rehab Texas

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use disorders and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

Alcohol Detox In Texas Inpatient Rehab

The first step in alcohol use disorder treatment is alcohol detox. It will help you navigate the complicated withdrawal process, but it doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior that contribute to drug abuse. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete detox.

Cravings are very common during detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can provide necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and the effects of withdrawals.

How We Can Help? Searched for “dual diagnosis treatment centers in Texas” or are you seeking a national inpatient rehab destination?

Drinking alcohol causes brain damage and causes harm to your loved ones as well. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcoholism and a co-occurring mental health condition such as anxiety and depression, contact one of our helpful treatment specialists today. We Level Up TX can provide information on dual diagnosis and detox programs that may fit your specific needs.

Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. We will help you explore alcoholism treatment options. Together we can prevent fetal alcohol syndrome adult. Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.


[1] Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
[2] Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – National Center for Biotechnology Information
[3] Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Alcohol AlertNational Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Publications Distribution Center