FASD Awareness Day 2014: September 9

September 9, 2014

Maureen Fitzgerald
Communications Coordinator, ATTC Network
Editor, NIATx

During September, events across the nation share the message of Recovery Month, that prevention works, treatment is effective, and people can and do recover.  Along with the 25th anniversary of SAMSHA’s National Recovery Month, 2014 also marks the 15th Annual observance of FASD Awareness Day, sponsored by SAMHSA’s FASD Center for Excellence. (http://www.fasdcenter.samhsa.gov)

As Frances M.Harding, Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention writes on the SAMHSA Blog, “When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her baby.” Yet the risks of maternal drinking during pregnancy and the link to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder  (FASD) have come to our attention fairly recently.  As Dr. Kenneth Warren, deputy director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) notes in this month’s ATTC Meet the Researcher Profile,

“At the time I entered the FASD field (mid-to-late 1970s), there lacked general acceptance by the medical community, scientific community, and the public, that alcohol posed risks for the unborn fetus.”

Current research is uncovering more and more evidence of the long-term consequences of prenatal exposure to alcohol. One recent study examines the link between FASD and childhood obesity. You can read a research brief of the full article “Prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with later excess weight/obesity during adolescence,” an Addiction Science Made Easy article for September 2014.

Research is also showing that children diagnosed with FASD are at greater risk for developing an alcohol or other substance use disorder later in life—and the problems with behavior and learning that often accompany FASD require modified treatment approaches.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 40,000 babies are born each year with FASD. To find out more about this preventable disorder, join the free webinars that the FASD Center for Excellence is presenting today, September 9:

Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Making the Connections!
1:00-2:00pm EDT 
Learn about the connections and progress of collaborative efforts from various perspectives of FASD.

Addressing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 58
3:00-4:00pm EDT
Learn more about SAMHSA's new landmark publication Addressing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, #58 in the Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) series, the first TIP in the series to directly address the topic of FASD.

To register for either or both webinars, go to: FASD Awareness Day 2014 Events

The webinars will be recorded, and the PowerPoints, transcript, and recording will be posted on the FASD Center for Excellence website (fasdcenter.samhsa.gov).

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