First, a focus on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
The Maternal Substance Abuse and Child Development Project (MSACD) began life as the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Screening project in 1981. At that time, the Georgia Legislature had the foresight to establish a program for screening pregnant women for alcohol use in order to identify the extent of the problem in Georgia as well as methods for prevention in this group. In the early 1980's, there was still considerable debate about the extent of this problem and, indeed, about the existence of FAS and other conditions resulting from prenatal exposure to substances of abuse. The FAS Screening project was among the first to work with this problem and was able to establish that alcohol effects could be seen in the newborn infant. We also found that an informational intervention with pregnant women could reduce alcohol and other drug use and improve birth outcomes. Thirty percent of the drinking women we interviewed stopped use and delivered babies who were of normal birth weight and had better developmental outcome. As part of this project, we developed the Dysmorphia Checklist, as screening tool for use in FAS clinics that reliably and validly identifies alcohol effects in children and adolescents. At the present time, we continue to work with alcohol-affected children and adults to describe the long-term effects of exposure. You can find more information about our findings on this Website at our Research section or our current studies at our Adult Assessment Project section.
Announcing a New Teratogen Information Service established at Emory University School of Medicine: MotherToBaby Georgia
MotherToBaby is a service of the non-profit Organization of Teratology Information Specialists dedicated to providing evidence-based information about medications and other exposures during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. This service is available to pregnant women, family members, health care providers, and the general public. Talk directly to the experts behind the most up-to-date research. In Georgia, call Toll-FREE 855-789-6222 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Prevention and Treatment
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is an overall term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. These disorders often co-occur with substance abuse and mental health issues, and generally require treatment modifications for successful outcomes.
The prevalence of the full spectrum of FASD in the general population is estimated at 9.1 per 1,000 live births, although some estimates suggest closer to 50 per 1,000 (or roughly 200,000 babies per year in the United States alone, based on 2010 general birth rates). Issues of stigma surrounding FASD may lead to under-reporting, disguising true prevalence. Since these disorders are 100 percent preventable, it is important to identify and use effective prevention strategies toward those at risk for consuming alcohol during pregnancy.
Enhance FASD Prevention Programs
Understand FASD Research and Policy
The mission of the SAMHSA Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Center for Excellence is to facilitate the development of culturally appropriate and effective behavioral health policies, practices, and programs to improve FASD prevention, treatment, and care systems by collaborating and coordinating with Federal, national, state, and community FASD partners.
Research Society on Alcoholism
36th Annual Scientific Meeting
June 22-26, 2013
Orlando (Grand Cypress), Florida
A New Resource to Help Pediatricians Identify and Manage Children With
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)
September 12, 2012.
ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) - Health experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a recommendation last week that every child be screened for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Preview Here
WASHINGTON, DC—Today U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Begich (D-AK), Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Daniel Inouye (D-HI) introduced The Advancing FASD Research, Prevention, and Services Act to improve research, prevention, and services for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). FASD is an umbrella term that describes a range of physical and mental birth defects that can occur in a fetus when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol. Alcohol exposure during pregnancy is a leading cause of non-hereditary cognitive disability.
“Alaska is doing well in the fight against FASD, but this is clearly an instance where just being ‘good’ isn’t good enough,” said Sen. Murkowski, lead Republican co-sponsor of the bill. “I’m proud to co-sponsor this important, comprehensive bill, because education is a key component, but not the only component. Whether in small town or urban America, this bill also provides a support system for state and community outreach that deals with alcoholism head-on.”
“Alaska’s fetal alcohol syndrome rate fell 32 percent between 1996-2002 in no small part from efforts like this bill,” said Sen. Begich. “The Advancing FASD Research, Prevention, and Services Act would continue to authorize funds through 2017 for the needed research, surveillance and education to prevent this spectrum of disorders and help children and adults afflicted with the disease live a full and healthy life. I am pleased to stand with my colleagues today to introduce this important measure to help keep families in Alaska and across the country aware of the risks of FAS.”
“This disease is entirely preventable, and yet it is estimated that nearly 8,000 South Dakotans are living with FASD,” said Sen. Johnson. “While there is no known cure, the bill we introduced today seeks a balance between directing and coordinating federal resources to prevention activities and to services for individuals living with FASD and their families.”
The legislation would:
· Require the National Institutes of Health to develop a research agenda for the diagnosis, prevention and intervention of FASD
· Authorizes federal grants for pilot projects to determine and implement the best practices for educating children with FASD within the school system
· Directs NIH to conduct support activities to integrate case definitions into clinical practice, thereby improving surveillance activities, and to provide health care workers and others with resources to reduce alcohol-exposed pregnancies
· Authorizes development and broadcast of national public service announcements to raise public awareness of the risks associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy
Funding would also be authorized to improve interventions and services for individuals with FASD who are incarcerated or otherwise involved in the justice system.
Federal grants would also be authorized for states, tribes, tribal organizations and other non-profit organizations to develop support services such as vocational training, housing assistance, and medication monitoring services for adults with the disease.
People affected with these disorders face numerous medical, physical, educational, and financial challenges. Difficulties can include severe learning disabilities, physical abnormalities, costly medical bills, and behavioral impairments. Diagnoses under the FASD umbrella include Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Alcohol-Related Birth Defects and Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder.
The Interagency Coordinating Committee on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (ICCFASD) announces the release of a consensus statement, Recognizing Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND) in Primary Health Care of Children. These recommendations are the result of a consensus development style conference which took place in November 2011, sponsored by the ICCFASD, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Recognizing Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND) in Primary Health Care of Children
Recognizing Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND) in Primary Health Care of Children
Announcing New Resources from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
A new ACOG website provides resources for women’s health care providers in identifying women who drink too much and in providing brief educational counseling to reduce or eliminate alcohol use. It also provides information for the public along with linked resources. This website is a one-stop choice, offering a cell phone app, downloadable patient information sheets, current news articles, treatment referral information, and more. The tools on this website were developed in response to the needs expressed by ACOG’s members. Some examples of tools you can find here include:
iPhone app for identifying and intervening with women who drink at risk levels
ACOG Committee Opinion: At risk drinking and alcohol dependence: Obstetric and gynecologic implications
FASD 2011 Webcast Available & Advance Notice for Adolescents and Adults with FASD 2012 View Here
Alcohol-Related Birth Disorders and the Law: How Should Attorneys and Judges Respond to FASD? View Here
"Bath Salts" Symposium at the CPDD Annual Meeting View Here
NOFAS Georgia Executive Director (Volunteer)
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Download the FASD app -- from your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, go to the Apple App store and search for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. You can also find it under CDC. To access it directly, visit:
Main Application Features:
Easy-to-read information on diagnosis and treatments for children with FASDs
Individualized pages for different users – women, families, health care providers, educators, and partners
Training and education resources
Access to free materials on alcohol use during pregnancy and FASDs
Zero-to Three releases new DVD
Safe Babies Court Teams: Building Strong Families and Healthy Communities.’ This DVD discusses a model for dealing with the needs of maltreated infants and toddlers. DVDs are available through the MSACD project. Visit Here for Information
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can have permanent negative health effects on your developing baby:
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