The deleterious effects of prenatal alcohol exposure have been the subject of numerous research studies since first recognized in the early 1970s. The results of these studies have indicated that the dose and patterning of maternal alcohol consumption, use of other drugs, as well as other social and environmental factors may mediate developmental outcomes in prenatally alcohol-exposed children. Although there are still many unanswered questions regarding etiology, there is a clearly identified need for effective prevention/intervention programs for alcohol-abusing women of childbearing age. Such programs must address the multiple factors that may exacerbate alcohol's teratogenic effects. The prevention of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and other alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD) can only be accomplished through multilevel, multisystem intervention strategies, including community education, therapeutic interventions with the alcohol-abusing mother, parenting education, and early identification and intervention with the alcohol-affected child. A review on the etiology of FAS and ARBD is presented with recommended strategies for prevention/intervention.