Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a common condition with a high economic impact in both children and adults, concludes an updated review in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

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Damage to the central nervous system is a unifying concept for nearly all of the diagnoses that fall under the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) umbrella. Thus, FASD are an important public health and social problem worldwide that consumes a large amount of resources, both economic and societal by imparting a large burden on society through such sectors as the healthcare system, mental health and substance abuse treatment services, foster care, the criminal justice system, and the long-term care of individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities.

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Children and adolescents affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol who have brain damage that is manifested in functional impairments of neurocognition, self-regulation, and adaptive functioning may most appropriately be diagnosed with neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal exposure. This Special Article outlines clinical implications and guidelines for pediatric medical home clinicians to identify, diagnose, and refer children regarding neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal exposure.

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