A primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial. Each of these symptoms may be continuous or periodic. (Morse & Flavin for the Joint Commission of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and the American Society of Addiction Medicine to Study the Definition and Criteria for the Diagnosis of Alcoholism: in JAMA 1992;268:1012-4)
An umbrella term used to describe a pattern of disabilities and abnormalities that result from fetal exposure to ETHANOL during pregnancy. It encompasses a phenotypic range that can vary greatly between individuals, but reliably includes one or more of the following: characteristic facial dysmorphism, FETAL GROWTH RETARDATION, central nervous system abnormalities, cognitive and/or behavioral dysfunction, BIRTH DEFECTS. The level of maternal alcohol consumption does not necessarily correlate directly with disease severity.