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Materials from FASD Awareness Day Webinar Now Available!

September 30, 2015

The SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence is proud to announce the release of the materials from our 2015 FASD Awareness Day Webinar. Featuring a facilitated panel discussion with a diverse group of service providers, the Webinar addressed topics such as effective prenatal and post-natal care; FASD prevention through approaches such as Project CHOICES, Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), and the Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP); and treating individuals who may have an FASD.

Nearly 300 participants called into the Webinar; the main PowerPoint and a combined audio/video file are available for free by clicking here. We encourage our visitors to download these materials and share them with your constituents, especially service providers.

September is National Recovery Month

September 15, 2015

National Recovery Month

Every September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors National Recovery Month to increase awareness of behavioral health conditions. This observance promotes the belief that behavioral health is essential to health, prevention works, treatment is effective, and people recover from mental and/or substance use disorders. Promoting recovery from substance use disorders is also vital for preventing initial and recurring alcohol-exposed pregnancies.

Click the banner at right to visit SAMHSA’s National Recovery Month website and learn more about special national and regional events, to post your own event, or to view banners, flyers, public service announcements, and media/social media outreach materials that promote recovery, in both English and Spanish. You can also read and watch personal stories of recovery, or share your own. In addition, the site features links to the Road to Recovery TV and radio series, in which a panel of experts discuss key recovery topics.

Make your voice heard for National Recovery Month 2015: Visible, vocal, valuable!

NOFAS Announces First Annual FASD Awareness Month

September 15, 2015

Our partners at the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) have announced that September 2015 will be the first annual FASD Awareness Month. This will mark a new annual campaign, expanded from one day (the traditional 9/9) to an entire month, in order to increase recognition about the risks of prenatal alcohol exposure and the needs of children and adults living with an FASD. NOFAS’ theme for this inaugural month is Alcohol and Pregnancy: No Safe Amount, No Safe Time, No Safe Alcohol. Period.

Some states and individual NOFAS affiliates, such as the Minnesota Organization on FAS (MOFAS), have attempted in the past to increase official recognition of FASD awareness from a day to a month. Now, NOFAS is leading a renewed national effort to reach this goal. Throughout September, NOFAS and its affiliates will conduct events at the local, state, and national levels to educate people about FASD prevention and treatment. Community organizations, universities, schools, churches, federal agencies, and others will join the effort, sponsoring a variety of activities to create awareness and encourage the development and delivery of resources for individuals and families.

To learn more about FASD-related events planned for September, click here to visit the official NOFAS FASD Month Events page.

An Interview with Kathy Mitchell of NOFAS About FASD Awareness Month

September 1, 2015

September 9, 2015 will mark the 16th annual celebration of International FASD Awareness Day. For this occasion, we conduct a second interview with Kathleen Tavenner Mitchell, M.H.S., LCADC, Vice President and International Spokesperson for the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) and a leading speaker and advocate on FASD and women and addictions.

For our October 2014 Ask the Expert, Ms. Mitchell provided her perspective on being the birth mother of a child with an FASD, and on her extensive work to increase awareness of FASD and women’s treatment issues. This month she discusses NOFAS’ recently announced initiative to expand FASD Awareness Day to a full FASD Awareness Month. NOFAS is committed to the idea that FASD needs more than a single day for proper recognition because it is a public health issue with debilitating mental and physical health outcomes affecting individuals, families and communities, requiring multiple support systems and funding to care for individuals with an FASD and prevent future alcohol-exposed pregnancies.

To read our interview with Ms. Mitchell, click here.

Examining the Value of Breastfeeding

August 14, 2015

August has been designated as Breastfeeding Awareness Month in an effort to make mothers and families aware of the value of breastfeeding. Every woman makes her own decision about whether to breastfeed, and SAMHSA and other federal agencies have provided information resources to help with this choice.

To examine breastfeeding, the SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence interviews Erin E. Tracy, M.D., M.P.H., a full time faculty member in the Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at the Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tracy discusses the value of breastfeeding, and special considerations for mothers who consume alcohol and want to breastfeed their children.

To read our Ask the Expert interview with Dr. Tracy, click here.

CDC Releases New FASD Curriculum Development Guide

August 14, 2015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released an updated version of the curriculum development guide FASD Competency-Based Curriculum Development Guide for Medical and Allied Health Education and Practice. Now available online for free, the Guide is a revised version of a publication originally released in 2009, and was developed by the formerly-funded FASD Regional Training Centers (RTCs) and their partners.

FASD Development Guide

The Guide, pictured at right, is designed to improve prevention, identification, and FASD management, and can be used to develop educational programs and materials for medical and allied health providers in a range of formats based on the needs of learners. The Guide is divided into the following seven competencies:

  1. Foundation
  2. Alcohol Use Disorders
  3. Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention
  4. Biological Effects of Alcohol on the Fetus
  5. Screening, Diagnosis, and Assessment for Treatment Planning
  6. Treatment Across the Life Span for Persons with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
  7. Ethical, Legal, and Policy Issues

The Guide can be viewed online or downloaded for free from the following site: