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SAMHSA News - July/August 2007, Volume 15, Number 4

Preventing FASD in Native Communities

According to SAMHSA’s FASD Center for Excellence, statistics show that at least 40,000 babies are born each year in the United States with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

And Native communities have some of the highest rates of FASD in the country.

To increase awareness, SAMHSA’s FASD Center recently released a resource toolkit as part of its Native Initiative. The American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Resource Kit is designed to help mothers-to-be and their friends, relatives, health professionals, and leaders understand and prevent FASD.

The Native Initiative emphasizes traditional themes such as the importance of family and the healing power of communities to reduce the number of Native children born with FASD.

This new resource will support prevention and treatment efforts in American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian communities.

The kit was developed and reviewed by representatives of these communities and by FASD experts.

What Is FASD?

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders describe the range of effects that can occur in individuals whose mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications.

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To Order

The American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Resource Kit is available online from SAMHSA’s FASD Center at

To order a free print copy of the toolkit, call SAMHSA’s Health Information Network at 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727) or
1-800-487-4889 (TDD). Request inventory number SMA07-4264.

For more information about SAMHSA’s FASD Center for Excellence, visit

For more on the FASD Center’s Native Initiative, visit

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What's in the Toolkit?

The American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Resource Kit is designed to help Native communities understand and prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. SAMHSA’s toolkit includes the following:

  • Current data. The toolkit provides statistics on FASD.

  • Fact sheets and information sheets. Three comprehensive fact sheets provide statistics and answers to frequently asked questions about FASD. In addition, the fact sheets present strategies for effecting change in Native communities and target specific audiences, including tribal leaders, educators, health care providers, and community members.

  • Brochures. Three brochures for Native women, men, and youth describe how each group can help prevent FASD.

  • Posters. Two reproducible posters may be displayed in gathering places such as community centers, health care facilities, schools, and workplaces.

  • A CD-ROM and slideshow. Easy-to-use electronic files help community members share and post materials. And the educational slideshow about FASD can be presented in schools or at gatherings.

  • A resource list. To encourage additional research and community action, resources from Native-specific Web sites are provided.

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