WRaP 2.0 FASD Coaching Partnership Project

Have you heard about WRaP 2.0? Here is some information on this amazing Alberta Government Collaboration.

The WRaP 2.0: FASD Coaching Partnership Project is a five-year collaboration (February 2021 to January 2026) between the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Community and Social Services and Alberta’s 12 FASD Service Networks that seeks to maintain the same goals as the WRaP Project while extending supports province wide.

Through the services of FASD Instructional Coaches, including at-the-elbow assistance and professional development, school authority staff will be supported to enhance their capacity to meet the education needs of students with FASD (Early Childhood Services – Grade 12).

Services delivered by the FASD Instructional Coaches include providing resources, professional development presentations, formal FASD instructional coaching, a bridge to the Alberta FASD Service Networks, and participation in case consultations as needed. The services can be delivered to large and small education stakeholder groups and/or with one-to-one education professionals.

ABOUT THE WRAP 2.0 FASD INSTRUCTIONAL COACH IN THE NORTHWEST PEACE FASD NETWORK REGION:

As the newly appointed FASD Instructional Coach for the NW Peace FASD region, Jen Duperron-Trydal brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role.  She has been employed with the Northwest Peace FASD Network since 2014 and has held the roles of Community Resource Advocate as well as FASD Diagnostic Clinic Coordinator.  During this time, Jen has had the opportunity to present about FASD at a number of Educational Conferences/Conventions. In the past, Jen was also employed for over a decade within various school systems (including High Schools, Elementary Schools, an Alternate School, and a College). Please reach out to Jen at jen@nwfasd.ca for more information. And for more information about the project check out the website https://wrap2fasd.org/

AHS: Caregiver Series Registration

Alberta Health Services and Mental Health Foundation collaborate to bring free, virtual mental health resources to parents/caregivers.

The Caregiver Education Sessions focus on the 3 R’s: reduce stigma, receive information, and reflect on strategies. Each session provides evidence-based research, common challenges faced by children and youth, possible treatment options, supportive strategies, and information/resources for further support.

These free 90 minute online sessions are intended to provide parents, caregivers, teachers, and community members with introductory information regarding mental health challenges that can affect children and youth.

To register follow this link- https://www.cyfcaregivereducation.ca/virtual-education/caregiver-series-registration

ALCOHOL AND OTHER SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER RECOVERY DURING PREGNANCY AMONG PATIENTS WITH POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER SYMPTOMS: A QUALITATIVE STUDY

Melissa C. Henry, Pilar M. Sanjuan, Lisa Cacari Stone, Grace F. Cairo, Anthony Lohr-Valdez, Lawrence M. Leeman, Alcohol and Other Substance Use Disorder Recovery During Pregnancy Among Patients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: A qualitative study, Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports, 2021,100013, ISSN 2772-7246,
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dadr.2021.100013.
(https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2772724621000135)

Abstract

Background

About 5% of women are pregnant at substance use disorder (SUD) treatment entry, and pregnant women with SUD often belong to marginalized groups experiencing social, economic, and health care barriers associated with stigma from prenatal substance use. Pregnant women in SUD treatment have high rates of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study sought to (1) examine the lived experiences of pregnant individuals with PTSD symptoms in SUD treatment and (2) understand the roles of systematic or contextual barriers to the pursuit of prenatal abstinence.

Methods

We draw upon in-depth semi-structured interviews to examine relationships between SUD, psychological trauma/PTSD experience, social resources and lived experiences among patients in prenatal SUD treatment with PTSD symptoms. Our sample was pregnant patients (N=13) with prior DSM-5 Criterion A trauma and current PTSD symptoms enrolled in a comprehensive program integrating prenatal care, substance use counseling, medication for opioid use disorder and case management at three sites affiliated with an urban academic medical center in New Mexico.

Results

Using thematic analysis, four main themes identified structural forces influencing alcohol and drug use: (a) lack of access or ability to obtain resources, (b) substance use to cope with negative affect, (c) social stigma, and (d) interpersonal relationships.

Conclusions

Despite receiving high-quality integrated prenatal and SUD care, these pregnant patients with PTSD symptoms in SUD treatment still experienced substantial social and structural hurdles to achieving abstinence during pregnancy.

Click here to read the open-access research article.

Retrieved from https://preventionconversation.org/2021/12/20/alcohol-and-other-substance-use-disorder-recovery-during-pregnancy-among-patients-with-posttraumatic-stress-disorder-symptoms-a-qualitative-study/

Tis the season for MOCKTAILS!

The holidays are upon us. For most, that means holiday gatherings and socializing. Many of these social situations include alcoholic beverages. We want to encourage everyone to include mocktails as an option. They can be fun, festive and flavourful!

Non-alcoholic mocktail ideas that are low on sugar too

Mocktails get a bad wrap — for good reason.

If you order a mocktail at your average pub, you might get something sickly sweet — and expensive too.

But it’s possible to create something “a little bit more sophisticated,” says Nat Battaglia, who runs a site dedicated to mocktail recipes.

She recommends using fresh ingredients and says it can help if you’re not trying to replicate existing cocktails.

Bonus: You won’t have to shell out for non-alcoholic spirits, which can be pricey and limit you to a particular type of drink.

What ingredients work best?

Fresh fruit

Nat recommends using whatever fresh fruit is in season — or on special at the supermarket.

In summer, that might be watermelonstrawberries and raspberries.

She tends to avoid blenders in her recipes unless absolutely necessary, as it adds an extra step in mixing a drink and washing up.

Instead, she says you can just muddle your fruit in a cocktail shaker, or even in the glass itself.

Nat smiles, holding a bright pink mocktail.
Nat Battaglia says you can create a sophisticated mocktail with what you already have at home.(Supplied: The Mindful Mocktail)

Mixers other than soft drink and juice

Adding something sparkling can make a non-alcoholic drink feel a bit more special.

Nat suggests soda or tonic water, or non-alcoholic sparkling wine sold at the supermarket.

Another favourite base is kombucha, or if you don’t like fizz, coconut water is another great option.

Tea can also be an inexpensive mocktail addition.

Nat uses peppermint tea for a “fresh minty hit” or berry tea for something sweeter.

You can just brew a cup to packet instructions, chill it in the fridge, and then combine it with your other ingredients.

Something with zing

If you want your mocktail to have a bit more depth than your average fruit punch, Nat says you’ll need to get creative.

“When you remove the alcohol from a cocktail, the body and bite that comes from the alcohol can often go with it. So we’ve got to find something to replace that.”

Some of her go-tos include bitters, and vinegars such as apple cider or even balsamic.Strawberry and ginger mocktailMake it your own by using your favourite berries and serve over soda.Read more

“It just replaces that zing you would normally get from the alcohol … it offers that little bit of balance and extra flavour,” Nat says.

To find the heat you’d normally get from alcohol, she says adding grated ginger works well, especially in a virgin mojito.

Adding extra sweetness

Ripe fruit will be naturally sweet and, if you’re topping up your drink with something like coconut water, you might not need to add any extra.

But if your drink needs a bit of sweetness, Nat often uses monk-fruit sweetener, which derives from the South Asian monk fruit. It’s a natural “intense sweetener”, meaning it’s much sweeter than sugar, and can be used in smaller amounts.

Maple syrup and honey are some other options.One woman’s quest to make alcohol-free drinks ‘normal’After quitting alcohol six months ago, Briana Cowan became obsessed with the growing industry of non-alcohol beers, wines and spirits. Read more

Time to get mixing – equipment and presentation

You don’t need a fancy cocktail set to make drinks at home.

Nat says you can use a jar or anything with a tight lid in lieu of a shaker.

If you don’t have a muddler, the end of a wooden spoon or similar will work a treat.

Nat’s a “huge garnish person,” and says a lime round can go a long way.

You can also have fun with salt and sugar rims or adding a few sprigs of mint or basil leaves which look and smell great.

She says investing in some nice glasses will also go a long way.

“Some of us just love throwing everything in a plastic tumbler and hoping for the best,” Nat says.

“But I just love fancy glassware – I swear it makes the drink taste better.”

Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/everyday/non-alcoholic-mocktails-that-are-low-on-sugar-too/100695934?utm_campaign=abc_everyday&utm_content=mail&utm_medium=content_shared&utm_source=abc_everyday

Health Canada Updates their FASD Page

Last month, Health Canada released their new information page on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). This update is a huge step forward towards increased consistency, reduced confusion, and improved understanding of FASD in Canada.

In 2018, we published a common definition of FASD for use in Canada. We recommend everyone adopt this evidence-based definition to:

  • Reduce stigma;
  • Improve our understanding of FASD
  • Improve consistency in our work;
  • Reduce confusion; and
  • Encourage a more strengths-based, person-centered, whole-body perspective on FASD.

Health Canada has included a version of this common definition on their page! They’ve also updated their other information to better reflect the current research and evidence.

On their website you can now find information about FASD, signs and symptoms, therapies, supports, prevention, and current FASD projects funded by the federal government. This is a great resource for anyone just starting to learn about FASD.

CanFASD will continue to work in collabortion with the Public Helath Agency of Canada to ensure that Canadians have access to up-to-date, evidence-based information about FASD.

Retrieved from https://canfasd.ca/2021/12/08/health-canada-updates-their-fasd-page/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=health-canada-updates-their-fasd-page

CANFASD: NATIONAL ADDICTIONS AWARENESS WEEK 2021

This week November 21st through to the 27th is recognized as National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW). It is dedicated to raising awareness about addictions and substance use and centers around finding solutions for change. This year’s theme is Driving Change Together. Substance use is a complex issue that requires a wide range of perspectives and a collective effort. Everyone needs to work together towards a healthy future for people who use substances.

Substance use is intricately connected with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). People with FASD have higher rates of substance use challenges compared to the general population. What’s more, they often experience challenges successfully moving through traditional approaches to substance use treatment and addictions programs, as these programs often aren’t set up to support people with FASD. In fact, researchers with CanFASD are currently working on a project now to improve substance use treatment for people with FASD.

In order to effectively address FASD as a whole, we also must improve substance use support for people who are pregnant, parenting, or planning a pregnancy. One reason women may continue to use substances through pregnancy is due to the barriers associated with seeking help and support. Some of these barriers include feelings of guilt and shame, not having enough information available about services, unsupportive partners, and issues of stigma. It is essential that we have supportive, respectful, health promoting, trauma-informed, and women-centred programing that supports people where they’re at.

The Co-Creating Evidence Project was the first project of its kind in Canada that evaluated eight multi-use programs across Canada that serve women at a high risk of having a baby prenatally exposed to alcohol or other substances. Although all these programs are different, the common characteristics contributing to their successes included well thought out, evidence-based approaches, strong partnership relationships, flexible, multi-dimensional models, and keeping clients engaged overtime.

Overwhelmingly, clients reported a positive experience at their program. They felt physically and emotionally safe, they trusted staff, had choice about the services they received, and felt their needs were met. One of the most interesting findings of the study is that clients often reduced or quit their substance use, even though these programs do not have substance use treatment as a primary focus.

This study showed the importance of providing programs that include wraparound services, knowledge and empathetic program staff, Indigenous cultural connection, and opportunities for community/peer support. An ideal multi-service program for pregnant and parenting women who use substances would be grounded in best practices and include a wraparound experience with services a range of primary, prenatal, postnatal health, substance use, trauma, outreach, and child welfare services along with cultural programming and/or supports that address social determinants of health factors in a manner that reflects and respects local/regional influences.

Read more about some of the incredible programs involved in the Co-Creating Evidence Study and how their communities rallied to support pregnant and parenting women using substances.

With rising concerns about an increase in substance use challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and changes to existing supports and services, it is more important than ever that we all work together to improve outcomes for those using substances. Help us achieve this goal by making sure you’re using the right language, learning more about substance use and how it fits in with your profession, making sure you’re using best practices when you’re working with people with FASD and/or parenting and pregnant women who are using substances, and connecting with your community to find and/or build appropriate supports.

Retrieved from https://canfasd.ca/2021/11/24/national-addictions-awareness-week-2021/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=national-addictions-awareness-week-2021 and https://preventionconversation.org/2021/11/25/canfasd-national-addictions-awareness-week-2021/