The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) and National Alcoholic Beverage Control Association (NABCA) came together in 2015 in a multi-year partnership to create the FASD Awareness in State Control Agencies (FASCA) initiative. This program is aimed at preventing FASD, as well as other alcohol-related conditions, by supporting education, public awareness, and resources on the dangers of prenatal alcohol exposure. NABCA represents the interests of the 17 US states and 4 non-state jurisdictions that regulate the sale of some or all types of alcohol and seeks to promote public health and awareness of the dangers of risky drinking. Additionally, NABCA provides grants to states for an array of other educational and awareness programs.
This year, FASCA is focused on educating medical and allied health professionals in Mississippi and Pennsylvania, after reworking previous plans in light of COVID-19 restrictions. Drinking has increased significantly during the pandemic, particularly among women, making alcohol-related services especially important. While describing his organization’s mission, Jim Squeo, President and CEO of NABCA, emphasized both the importance of appropriate access to alcohol and the need for caution when drinking, saying, “While safely making their favorite products available, control states have an obligation to prevent harm by educating consumers about potential risks such as drinking and driving and prenatal alcohol exposure.”