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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
November/December 2009, Volume 17, Number 6 

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Substance-Exposed Infants: How States Help

A redesign for the Web site and a new publication on substance-exposed infants are just a few of the updates for SAMHSA’s National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW).

Web Site

NCSACW’s updated Web site is optimized so that stakeholder groups can find the information they need quickly, choosing from relevant topics tailored to child welfare, substance abuse, and the courts.

photo of two parents and two children

Online training courses on substance use disorders and child welfare are available. Several states now require that child welfare workers pass these courses. In addition, there are courses for family law practitioners. Resource materials and helpful models from around the Nation on how they “improved systems linkages” are also provided.

Substance-Exposed Infants

“Media coverage about substance-exposed newborns may fall off the front pages,” said Nancy K. Young, Ph.D., NCSACW Director, “but that doesn’t mean the problem has gone away.”

Dr. Young is one of the authors of a new SAMHSA publication, Substance-Exposed Infants: State Responses to the Problem. The publication’s goal is to identify ways that states have addressed the issue. The authors suggest a cross-agency unified approach to the issue that affects more than 7 million children under age 18 and could affect the Nation’s communities for generations to come.

Statistics included in the study show that each year, an estimated 400,000 to 440,000 infants (10 to 11 percent of all births) are affected by prenatal alcohol or illicit drug exposure. This can cause a spectrum of physical, emotional, and developmental problems that can be long-lasting, especially if the situation is not detected and early intervention put in place right away.

Cooperation is Key

“We’re placing the emphasis on prevention,” said Dr. Young. “Policy changes may often start with the substance abuse treatment agency, but the health department, the education department, the child welfare department, income support—all of the state agencies that touch families—need to be on the same page to help prevent and address this issue.”

According to Dr. Young, 10 to 11 percent of all births is “a very important number, because it can be an indicator of later involvement in child welfare services and the child neglect and education issues that become remediation instead of prevention.”

Sharon Amatetti, SAMHSA Project Officer for the publication, noted that most studies and discussions about substance-exposed newborns focus on the period of pregnancy and birth. However, the authors felt that this timeframe was too limited. Instead, the study analyzes how the states are doing in five areas: (1) pre-pregnancy prevention efforts; (2) prenatal screening; (3) detection at birth; (4) neonatal care; and (5) services to substance-exposed infants and their families as the child develops.

Download Substance-Exposed Infants: State Responses to the Problem. Learn more about NCSACW.

Resources on Children



  News & Updates  
Pamela S. Hyde Sworn in as New Administrator

Pamela S. Hyde Sworn in as New Administrator

Read more, view Webcast, and see photos.

Parity Law: Lessons Learned from California

Parity Law: Lessons Learned from California

Study may help to highlight the need for public education about the Federal parity law.

Voice Awards Honor Consumer Leaders

Voice Awards Honor Consumer Leaders

Entertainment industry and consumer leaders honored in Hollywood. Photo gallery.


  Publications  
TIP 52:  Treatment Guide to Clinical Supervision

TIP 52: Treatment Guide to Clinical Supervision

Improving counselors’ skills takes coaching and mentoring.

Guidelines: Responding to Mental Health Crises

Report offers principles for safe interventions.

Substance-Exposed Infants: How States Help

Substance-Exposed Infants: How States Help

Cross-agency, unified approach is recommended.


  Grants  
Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunities

Call for applications include Peer-to-Peer Recovery program.

Tribal Grants Awarded

In Montana, a tribal group recently accepted a “big check.”


  Homelessness  
New Research Available on Parenting

New Research on Parenting

SAMHSA staff recently guest-edited 11 articles that focus on parenting.

Web Site Update on Co-Occurring Disorders

Web Site Update on Co-Occurring Disorders

New, interactive Web site features a library of tools.


  Adolescents & Substance Use  
“Influencers” Prevent Prescription Drug Misuse

“Influencers” Prevent Prescription Drug Misuse

Online toolkit helps family, teachers, and doctors keep teens from abusing prescription drugs.

Youth Tobacco Trends Show Decline

Youth Tobacco Trends Show Decline

Fewer youth are using tobacco products.

Perceptions of Risk from Substance Use

Perceptions of Risk from Substance Use

Age relates to teens’ perception of the danger of substance use.


  Suicide Awareness  
Suicide Prevention Update

Suicide Prevention Update

Lifeline’s Twitter, Facebook numbers rise.


  Prevention Update  
Native American Center for Excellence

Native American Center for Excellence

Recent event included a hoop dancing demonstration.



  Also in this Issue  
Gender Differences in Adolescents

Gender Differences in Adolescents

State reports on behavioral health problems presented by gender.

New Wallet Cards for 1-800-662-HELP

New Wallet Cards for 1-800-662-HELP

Order free wallet cards in English and en español.



  


Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road – Rockville, MD 20857
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