NOFAS Weekly Roundup July 27, 2015

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NEW AT NOFAS   July 27, 2015  
September is FASD Awareness Month!

The first annual Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Month is September 2015. FASD Awareness Month is an annual campaign to increase recognition about the risks of prenatal alcohol exposure and the needs of children and adults living with FASDs. This year’s theme is “Alcohol-and pregnancy: No safe amount; No safe time; No safe alcohol. Period.”

NOFAS calls on its partners, FASD advocates, professionals in the healthcare, education, legal, and public health fields, and the public, to learn about the risks associated with alcohol and pregnancy and to promote the campaign.

For more information, visit the NOFAS website.



International FASD Campaign
September 9, 2015

NOFAS will once again partner with the European Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (EUFASD) Alliance and Eurocare to participate in the International FASD Awareness Campaign. A network of organizations and associations from all around the world join efforts to raise awareness about drinking and pregnancy. In 2014 we had a network of more than 50 partners from 30 countries. The communication campaign is based on a social media marketing strategy that includes an action of non-conventional marketing (Guerrilla Marketing) to be performed in the main cities of many countries around the world. Visual imagery of the campaign will be posted on International FASD Day (September, 9, 2015, at 9:09 am). It will be carried out throughout the day and will be powered through the web and social media. We welcome new organizations and groups from around the globe to join us!

Doctor Says Fetal Alcohol Syndrome ‘Biggest Public Health Problem For African-Americans Since Slavery’

“Dr. Carl Bell, a retired professor of psychiatry and public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, currently a staff psychiatrist at Jackson Park Hospital, calls Fetal Alcohol Syndrome the “biggest public health problem for African-Americans since slavery.” Dr. Bell has treated patients for over 40 years.”
- Inquisitr

Why Drinking Alcohol While Pregnant
is Like Playing Russian Roulette

“Dr. Ginni Mansberg, a well-known Australian GP, has some sobering words for pregnant women who enjoy the occasional glass of wine. “All the mums who say, ‘Oh well, it is just one drink.’ would you give just one drink to your baby when it is born?” asks Dr. Mansberg. “You wouldn’t. You would think any woman who gave her baby a couple of chardies when it is two months old was completely insane. But why is it different to give your baby a couple of chardies when it is in the womb?” Her comments come after a recent study revealed that 40 per cent of Australian women drink alcohol throughout their pregnancy.”

80% of New Zealand Women
Drink During Pregnancy

“How much damage could be done to a child if its mother drinks just one alcoholic drink while pregnant?  The answer is, no one knows.  Despite this, a study published by respected British site BMJ Open last week found up to 80 per cent of New Zealand women have admitted drinking at some stage of their pregnancy.  The official line is that no level of alcohol use in pregnancy is considered safe.”
- New Zealand Herald

new zealand drink
Meet the New MOFAS Family
Engagement Coordinator Team (FECs)

MOFAS is “excited to welcome 8 new MOFAS Family Engagement Coordinators (FECs) employees to provide resources and support to families across [Minnesota]. Each of these individuals is a caregiver of (an) individual(s) with special or unique needs. Each brings a unique and diverse perspective and there is an abundance of personal experience FASD and prenatal alcohol exposure.”

FASD and Criminal Justice Fact Sheet

This fact sheet contains a variety of information, and states “FASD is a high-risk hidden disability in the criminal justice system because the associated behaviors are often assumed to be a choice, rather than related to brain damage.  35% of individuals with FASD have served time in jail or prison.  60% of people with FASD have a history of trouble with the law.”
- The Arc

fasd and CJ fact sheet


A Review of the History of Attitudes Toward Drinking in Pregnancy
“It is now well accepted in pediatrics and obstetrics that prenatal alcohol is a teratogenic agent and the primary causative factor underlying fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), although for the majority of the 20th century that knowledge was either unknown or ignored. At least 2 factors contributed to the delay in recognizing alcohol's role in teratogenicity: the rejection of earlier evidence pertaining to alcohol and pregnancy following the repeal of Prohibition in the United States, Canada, and several European countries; and misinterpretation of earlier research findings in a eugenic rather than toxicological context.”
- Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
New “FASD in Review” Examines Research on
Costs of FASD in the Correctional System

“This month, the FASD Center’s FASD in Review column examines a study that estimates the costs for youths and adults with FASD in the Canadian correctional system in 2011/2012. Estimating these costs is vital for quantifying the social impact of FASD and demonstrating its significance as a public health issue.”
- FASD Center for Excellence
Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment of FASD:
From Animal Models to Human Studies

“This article examines basic research that has been or could be translated into practical applications for the diagnosis or treatment of FASD. Diagnosing FASD continues to be a challenge, but advances are being made at both basic science and clinical levels. These include identification of biomarkers, recognition of subtle facial characteristics of exposure, and examination of the relation between face, brain, and behavior.”
- Alcohol Research Current Reviews
Low and Moderate Prenatal Ethanol Exposures of Mice During
Gastrulation or Neurulation Delays Neurobehavioral Development

“Human and animal studies show significant delays in neurobehavioral development in offspring after prolonged prenatal exposure to moderate and high ethanol doses resulting in high blood alcohol concentration (BECs). However, none have investigated the effects of lower ethanol doses given acutely during specific developmental time periods. Here, we sought to create a mouse model for modest and circumscribed human drinking during the 3rd and 4th weeks of pregnancy.”
- Neurotoxicology and Teratolog


Moms Struggle with Opioid Addiction During Pregnancy
“Natalie said she used opioids — which are painkillers ranging from oxycodone to heroin — during both her pregnancies. She got hooked on meth and heroin at age 13.  "They start experimenting with opioids that are left in parents' medicine cabinets or grandparents' medicine cabinets," said Dr. Karen Buchi, chief of the Division of General Pediatrics at the University of Utah.  Nationwide, 1,374 babies were treated for severe addiction in 2010, up from 354 in 2006. In Utah, 600 infants a year are at risk of hospitalization because of serious opioid dependency. Of all the drugs women take, opioid addiction is the toughest for pregnant mothers to quit, according to Buchi's research.”
- KSL News, Utah
New Guidance Provides Strategies for Assisting Individuals Experiencing Homelessness With Disability Application and Medical Determination Process
“This document from the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness in collaboration with the Social Security Administration (SSA), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and SAMHSA is intended to improve practices and collaboration among SSA field offices, VA Medical Center staff, organizations and agencies that provide services to people experiencing homelessness, and other community-based partners.”



NOFAS Recorded webinar:
The Role of the Social Worker in Preventing,
Identifying and Treating FASD

This webinar was presented by Dr. Leigh Tenkku Lepper and David Deere, LCSW.

This webinar examined the role of the social worker in the prevention, identification and treatment of FASD. The webinar offered a discussion on how the social worker can utilize alcohol screening and brief intervention with their female clients to prevent them from having an alcohol-exposed pregnancy. This webinar provided what we currently know in how to identify clients who may present with symptoms of having a potential FASD.