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Skip Navigation LinksCurriculum for Addiction Professionals > Competency 5: Continuing Care of Families Affected by FASD > 4. Legal Issues Related to Women Who Drink During Pregnancy

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Competency 6: Legal Issues

Legal Issues Related to Women Who Drink During Pregnancy

Scales

Federal laws related to alcohol use during pregnancy focus on prevention and treatment of FASD. State and local laws vary. Some States, such as Hawaii and Montana, have laws authorizing FASD prevention and treatment programs. Others, such as New Hampshire and Rhode Island, require that information on FASD be available to couples seeking marriage licenses.

Many States, such as Nevada and North Carolina, require warning signs about FASD to be posted in places where alcohol is sold. At least one State, Missouri, requires physicians to counsel pregnant patients about the dangers of alcohol use. It is important for addiction professionals to stay abreast of State laws related to alcohol use during pregnancy and their effect on treatment and recovery.

Legal requirements, such as reporting alcohol use during pregnancy or counseling patients about the dangers of alcohol use during pregnancy, can affect treatment plans. They also may affect the addiction professional’s interactions with other service providers, such as the amount and type of information shared about a client.

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