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SAMHSA News - July/August 2005, Volume 13, Number 4

SAMHSA Raises Awareness About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

illustration of pregnant woman - click to view Web site
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders logo - click to view Web site SAMHSA
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Center for Excellence

SAMHSA's Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Center for Excellence will participate in National FASD Awareness Day on September 9, 2005, to focus attention on the complications of drinking during pregnancy. The annual event has been observed on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year since 1999.

SAMHSA's FASD Center, launched in 2001, provides national leadership in the fight against FASD and fosters collaboration among service providers in the field.

The Center is working to improve quality of life for individuals and families affected by FASD. In particular, the Center's new American Indian/Alaska Native initiative will focus on FASD in Indian Country.

In 2004, SAMHSA expanded the FASD Center's work to include coordinating planning and program development by states, community-based organizations, and criminal justice organizations.

The Center's Web site, an online information resource, provides science-based information on FASD and local and national resources. The Center publishes an online newsletter—FASD: Knot Alone.

The Web site's "Grab and Go" section offers downloadable fact sheets, brochures, and posters.

A wide variety of materials are available from the FASD Center, including the Center's new educational program, FASD—The Basics, which can be obtained in several formats, including CD-ROM.

A video for women in recovery is also available, and an educational slide show on FASD service needs, Many Doors, No Master Key, can be either viewed online or downloaded for presentations. The video kit, Recovering Hope: Mothers Speak Out About FASD, includes a discussion guide. A nominal fee of $12 covers video production costs.

In addition to educational materials on FASD, the Center conducts trainings and meetings across the Nation. So far, more than 10,000 participants in 36 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, England, and Japan have attended.

The Center also sponsors town hall meetings, which garner support for states' efforts to build systems for FASD prevention and intervention. To help local efforts build awareness, the Center offers a brochure on Planning a Town Hall Meeting on FASD.

Last year, the Center organized a network of birth mothers of children affected by FASD. The Center also convenes summits for women in recovery.

For professionals, several curricula for diverse audiences are in development, including an online "FASD 101" course and materials specifically for juvenile justice and addiction professionals.

Additional resources include print public service announcements, educational rack cards, posters, and a fact sheet series, What You Need to Know.

For more information, visit www.fasdcenter.samhsa.govEnd of Article

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What Is FASD?

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term that describes the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy.

These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications.

FASD is not a clinical diagnosis.

FASD refers to conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder (ARND), and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD).

What causes FASD? The sole cause of FASD is drinking alcohol while pregnant.

For persons with FASD, daily activities, such as working, managing money, and maintaining a home, present huge challenges. A supportive community is essential for people with FASD. They need a strong circle of support made up of family members, mentors, social workers, and others who understand the limitations of FASD.

For more information, you can download fact sheets on FASD available at www.fasdcenter.samhsa.gov. The fact sheets include "Independent Living for People with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders" and "Understanding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Getting a Diagnosis." End of Table

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Inside This Issue

Medicare Modernization Brings Big Changes
Part 1
Part 2

From the Administrator: Maximizing the Benefit of Medicare

Medicare Resources

Mental Health Action Agenda Released

Youth Voices: Speaking Out About Recovery

Recovery Month

Substance Use Among Pregnant Women

Raising Awareness About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Voice Awards

Measuring Outcomes To Improve Services

SAMHSA Awards First 2005 Grants

Adult Drivers Drinking, Using Drugs

Boulder, Boston Areas Report Most Marijuana Use

DAWN Data Released on Drug Deaths


SAMHSA News - July/August 2005, Volume 13, Number 4

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