Alcohol abuse is associated with a variety of negative health and safety outcomes. It is associated with motor vehicle crashes, homicides, suicides, and drowning. Long-term heavy drinking can lead to heart disease, cancer, alcohol-related liver disease, and pancreatitis. Alcohol use during pregnancy is known to cause fetal alcohol syndrome, a leading cause of preventable mental retardation.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the leading cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). It can also result in sensory problems, learning disabilities, speech delay, and behavioral problems. Further, alcohol use during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, preterm birth, and stillbirth. Since the safe or minimum amount of alcohol is unknown, complete abstinence from alcohol use is recommended for pregnant women and for women planning to become pregnant. Alcohol-related birth defects are 100% preventable if women do not drink alcohol while pregnant.