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FASD Center Announces FASD Awareness Day 2015 Webinar

August 14, 2015

September 9, 2015 will mark the 16th annual celebration of International FASD Awareness Day. The SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence will mark 9/9 this year with a free Webinar featuring a two-part panel discussion on the theme of Healthy Baby, Healthy Life.

A panel of four service providers will join us for a 90-minute discussion on key issues related to 1) having a healthy pregnancy, and 2) identifying individuals with an FASD and helping them live a healthy life. Topics will include effective prenatal and post-natal care, FASD prevention, and assisting individuals in treatment who may have an FASD.

To learn more about this free event, click here to visit our Webinar page. Please join us for the Webinar and/or join the conversation on 9/9 by using #HealthyBabyHealthyLife and #FASDay on social media.


No registration is required. Follow the audio and web login instructions below to access the Webinar.

Webinar call-in information:
Telephone: 1-888-390-0980
Passcode: 4325849

Webinar log-in information:
Conference number: PW5120888
Audience passcode: HEALTHY

Participants can join the event directly at:

For questions about the Webinar prior to the event please email For technical assistance during the event please call 1-800-857-8777. Please join the event 15 minutes in advance.

Examining the Value of Breastfeeding

August 14, 2015

August has been designated as Breastfeeding Awareness Month in an effort to make mothers and families aware of the value of breastfeeding. Every woman makes her own decision about whether to breastfeed, and SAMHSA and other federal agencies have provided information resources to help with this choice.

To examine this topic, the SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence interviews Erin E. Tracy, M.D., M.P.H., a full time faculty member in the Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at the Massachusetts General Hospital and an Assistant Professor in Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tracy discusses the value of breastfeeding, and special considerations for mothers who consume alcohol and want to breastfeed their children.

To read our Ask the Expert interview with Dr. Tracy, click here.

CDC Releases New FASD Curriculum Development Guide

August 14, 2015

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released an updated version of the curriculum development guide FASD Competency-Based Curriculum Development Guide for Medical and Allied Health Education and Practice. Now available online for free, the Guide is a revised version of a publication originally released in 2009, and was developed by the formerly-funded FASD Regional Training Centers (RTCs) and their partners.

FASD Development Guide

The Guide, pictured at right, is designed to improve prevention, identification, and management of FASD, and can be used to develop educational programs and materials for medical and allied health providers in a range of formats based on the needs of learners. The Guide is divided into the following seven competencies:

  1. Foundation
  2. Alcohol Use Disorders
  3. Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention
  4. Biological Effects of Alcohol on the Fetus
  5. Screening, Diagnosis, and Assessment for Treatment Planning
  6. Treatment Across the Life Span for Persons with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
  7. Ethical, Legal, and Policy Issues

The Guide can be viewed online or downloaded for free from the following site:

NOFAS Announces First Annual FASD Awareness Month

August 14, 2015

Our partners at the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) have announced that September 2015 will be the first annual FASD Awareness Month. This will mark a new annual campaign, expanded from one day (the traditional 9/9) to an entire month, in order to increase recognition about the risks of prenatal alcohol exposure and the needs of children and adults living with an FASD. NOFAS’ theme for this inaugural month is Alcohol and Pregnancy: No Safe Amount, No Safe Time, No Safe Alcohol. Period.

Some states and individual NOFAS affiliates, such as the Minnesota Organization on FAS (MOFAS), have attempted in the past to increase official recognition of FASD awareness from a day to a month. Now, NOFAS is leading a renewed national effort to reach this goal. Throughout September, NOFAS and its affiliates will conduct events at the local, state, and national levels in order to educate people about the prevention and treatment of FASD. Community organizations, universities, schools, churches, federal agencies, and others will join the effort, sponsoring a variety of activities to create awareness and encourage the development and delivery of resources for individuals and families.

To learn more about FASD-related events planned for September, click here to visit the official NOFAS FASD Month Events page. To show your support of this initiative, join NOFAS’ international Twitter campaign on 9/9: To learn more, click here!

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month

July 31, 2015

August has been designated as Breastfeeding Awareness Month in an effort to make mothers and families aware of the realities and potential benefits of breastfeeding. Every woman makes her own decision about whether to breastfeed, and SAMHSA and other federal agencies have provided information resources to help with this choice.

The Office of Women’s Health (OWH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) offers a variety of free educational materials that discuss breastfeeding methods as well as cost factors, nutritional implications, and the special nature of breastfeeding for children with specific health conditions (including low birth weight, which is common among infants with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders [FASD]). Click here to visit the OWH breastfeeding homepage.

In addition, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) provides an online article about the effects of alcohol on the breastfeeding process, highlighting the benefits for nursing mothers to remain alcohol-free after the baby is born. To read the NIAAA overview, click here.

New “FASD in Review” Examines Research on Costs of FASD in the Correctional System

July 15, 2015

This month, FASD in Review examines an article that is currently in press with the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, titled “Cost Attributable to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the Canadian Correctional System” (to be published in 2015). This study estimates the costs for youths (12-17 years old) and adults (18+ years old) with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (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. To read a summary of this important new research, click here.

Part II of “Ask the Expert” Nutrition Series: Nutrition Among Newborns With An FASD

July 1, 2015

This month’s Ask the Expert is Part II of a two-part look at the importance of nutrition for pregnant women and new mothers. This month, we interview Jeffrey R. Wozniak, Ph.D., L.P., Associate Professor with the University of Minnesota (UMN) and Director of the Child and Adolescent Neuropsychology Clinic in UMN’s Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Wozniak, who was also part of the FASD Center’s three-part Webinar collaboration with MOFAS in February of 2014, examines nutrition among children identified with an FASD, and discusses his research into promising interventions for this population.

To read our interview with Dr. Wozniak, click here. To read Part I, an interview with Christina D. Chambers, Ph.D., M.P.H., focused on nutritional issues for pregnant women, click here.

Updated “Healthy Baby” Booklet Series Released

June 15, 2015

The FASD Center for Excellence is pleased to announce the release of an updated version of our How to Have a Healthy Baby booklet series. The series consists of three booklets in English, accompanied by Spanish adaptations; one for men and one for women who have a friend or loved one who is pregnant, and one for providers who work with pregnant women. Each booklet provides useful guidance for preventing FASD by supporting women in remaining alcohol-free during pregnancy.

Originally released in 2004, the revised booklets now feature expanded content and graphics, updated citations, and a simplified layout for easier readability. You can download the booklets for free and disseminate them to friends, family members, or your personal provider; they can also be printed and used as education/training handouts or in rack displays in providers’ offices.

Visit our Fact Sheets, Booklets and Manuals page and look under “Booklets” to read more and download the series for free.