Prevention

Examples of prevention activities conducted by the MSACD Prevention Program include:

The MSACD Prevention Program serves as the state expert on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and other drug related birth defects.

The Maternal Substance Abuse and Child Development Project at Emory University have been in existence since 1982 and is still the most comprehensive of its kind in the U.S. The MSACD Project was originally funded to examine the immediate and long-term consequences of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome at a time when there was disagreement in the professional community as to whether or not the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome existed. The MSACD Project was one of the earliest to obtain consistent data that The Maternal Substance Abuse prenatal alcohol use resulted in affected children. The MSACD Project was the first program to produce data regarding FAS in African-Americans and continues to be recognized as having more data on FAS in African-American children than any other source. The Howard University School of Medicine frequently consults with the project for information and data. The MSACD Project also provides information and data to the U.S. Indian Health Service, and the MSACD Project director was a member of the National Institutes of Health team that conducted a site visit to Russia under the Gore/Chernomyrdin agreement.

In early studies conducted by the MSACD Project, the Project was the first to demonstrate that prevention and intervention with pregnant substance-abusing women produced results. These early studies indicated that 1/3rd of women stopped drinking during pregnancy as a result of being told of the dangers to their child, and the MSACD Project was the first to demonstrate that those women who stopped drinking by the second trimester delivered babies who were of normal birthweight and improved cognitive outcomes. By 1985, the Project developed the FAS Screening Checklist for identification at birth of infants affected by prenatal alcohol use. In 1995, the manual was written and distributed. The MSACD Project has consistently demonstrated that perinatal identification of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome accurately predicts later development. The MSACD Project has also demonstrated psycho/social aspects of FAS as a way of identifying specific defects. This knowledge is a critical base upon which to develop prevention and treatment programs for children with FAS at both the neuropsychological and social levels of their functioning. The information gathered from the MSACD Project is being used to identify treatment and prevention programs may be effective to minimize the disorder, as well as information about social/behavioral functioning that may decrease or prevent the costly secondary disabilities that are now documented in children and youth with FAS (e.g., troubles with the law, mental health problems and disrupted school experience.)

The MSACD Project also developed the Georgia Addiction in Parenting Project (GAPP) which provided evidence that women using alcohol who were able to function with their children in the relatively normal environment of the GAPP halfway-house were better able to use resources to prevent further alcohol use, abuse and dependence. The GAPP program's educational component provided public and professional information to transfer knowledge from research to practice. Subsequently, the GAPP program was spun off into two programs in Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia.

With the introduction of cocaine as a maternal substance of abuse, an approach similar to the Fetal Alcohol Study was activated as part of the ongoing maternal substance abuse prevention program. Similar to the FAS studies, federal funds provide the research component of these studies while the educational and prevention aspects are supported by the state funds.

The staff of the Maternal Substance Abuse and Child Development Project has a breadth and depth of experience in working with substance abusing women and their children. We are dedicated to the prevention of the multiple, negative consequences of maternal substance use and/or abuse and the provision of a range of prevention services and activities to state agency and community-based staff across the state.

The MSACD Prevention Program delivers scientifically-based training on FAS and other drug related birth defects to a wide range of audiences.

The staff of the Maternal Substance Abuse and Child Development Project provide training to enable human service professionals and communities to implement maternal substance abuse prevention programs. Some examples of the recipients of training and technical assistance provided by the MSACD Project include:

New Visions Treatment Center

Atlanta Alliance for Developmental Disabilities

Georgia State University

Morris Brown University

Project Embrace

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Cobb County Department of Family and Children's Services Foster Parents Training Series

Georgia Department of Human Resources, Office of Adoptions

Centre for Excellence in Child Development, Ottawa Canada

Rockdale Hospital

Newton/Rockdale Perinatal Coalition

Veterans Administration Hospital, Atlanta, Postdoctoral Training Program in Addictions

FAS Parent Support Group

Department of Family and Children's Services of Georgia (DFCS)

Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and AddictiveDiseases

Families of Children Under Stress (FOCUS)

Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Integrated Life Center

Gwinnett County Foster and Adoptive Parents Association

Kennedy Head Start Center

Child Protective Service Workers, DFCS

Sadie G. Mays Health and Rehabilitation Center

Georgia State University Project Healthy Grandparents

Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA)

Marcus Institute

Bethany Christian Services Adoption Agency

Emory University Department of Psychology

Emory University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Families First

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