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/

INTEGRATED SERVICE DELIVERY IN FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER (FASD): A REVIEW OF THE ALBERTA FASD SERVICE NETWORK MODEL

Flannigan, Katherine R., Wrath, Andrew J., McFarlane, Audrey, Murphy, Lisa, & Rogozinsky, Lisa. (2021). Integrated Service Delivery in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): A Review of the Alberta FASD Service Network Model. Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 26(2). https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5711239

Abstract

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disabilities in North America. Stemming from the brain- and body-based impacts of prenatal alcohol exposure, individuals with FASD experience a range of challenges with physical, cognitive, behavioural, and social-emotional functioning. Most individuals with FASD require ongoing assistance to support day-to-day living and protect against negative life outcomes. Service needs for individuals with FASD often span across multiple areas of functioning, necessitating a range of supports from various disciplines and sectors. The complexity of needs experienced by individuals with FASD underscores the importance of integrated services, however, there is currently a lack of research on integrated service delivery approaches in the FASD population. The Alberta FASD Service Network model is a unique integrated FASD service delivery approach established in 2007 which facilitates the delivery of coordinated FASD supports and programs across Alberta. The aim of the current study was to review the evidence pertaining to this model. We identified 45 relevant documents, the findings of which were synthesized to better understand the aims and scope, impacts, and challenges of the Alberta FASD Service Network model and inform future work in FASD research, practice, and policy. V26-N2-21-351-Flannigan-et-al-v3Download

retrieved from https://preventionconversation.org/2021/11/18/integrated-service-delivery-in-fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorder-fasd-a-review-of-the-alberta-fasd-service-network-model/

RISK CLASSIFICATION OF ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION IN PREGNANT WOMEN IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS AND DURING PREGNANCY

Possa GC, Gonçalves MAS, Zerbetto SR, Silva SMC, Moura AAM, Silva Junior FG. Risk classification of alcoholconsumption in pregnant women in the last 12 months and during pregnancy. SMAD, Rev Eletrônica Saúde Mental Álcool Drog. 2021 Oct.-Dec.;17(4):44-53. doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.11606/issn.1806-6976.smad.2021.171923

Objective: to classify the risk of alcohol consumption in pregnant women in the last 12 months (low risk, harmful and likely addiction) and during pregnancy (negative or positive).

Method: this is an observational, cross-sectional and descriptive study developed with 118 pregnant UHS users from two municipalities. For data collection, the AUDIT and TACE tests were applied by means of interview.

Results: it was observed that 94.9% of the women interviewed made frequent use of alcohol before pregnancy and 34.7% made use without being aware of the current pregnancy. Regarding
the pattern of use during pregnancy, most pregnant women (86.4%) reported not to use or use within “low risk” limits, however, associations were verified between the previous consumption of alcohol by women and the consumption during the pregnancy, as well as associations between the consumption of alcohol in the last 12 months before pregnancy and the scores that represent the consumption during the pregnancy.

Conclusion: understanding the consumption of alcohol by pregnant women allows contributing to early diagnosis of vulnerability and planning of interventions to establish a safe and healthy pregnancy.

Click here to read the research article.

Retrieved from https://preventionconversation.org/2021/11/12/risk-classification-of-alcohol-consumption-in-pregnant-women-in-the-last-12-months-and-during-pregnancy/

Wellness Resiliency and Partnership 2.0 Project- Announcement

The Government of Alberta, including the Ministry of Community and Social Services and Ministry of Education, have collaborated to develop a new approach and service delivery model for building capacity within the education system and across all Alberta school authorities, including First Nation communities and Métis Settlements. The new model is intended to enhance partnerships between school authorities and FASD Service Networks across Alberta in a collaborative approach. FASD Instructional Coaches will support education staff to enhance their knowledge and skills regarding how to support students by providing professional development on FASD best practices and hands-on support incorporating FASD-informed approaches into their classroom communities.

The NW Peace FASD Network is excited to be a part of this new approach! To learn more about the project or setup a presentation in the Northwest Peace region please reach out to Jen Duperron-Trydal at Jen@nwfasd.ca

To watch the official announcement of the project go over to the Alberta Government site to watch:

CONSIDERATIONS FOR VIRTUAL SERVICES AND SUPPORTS FOR SUBSTANCE USE AND CONCURRENT DISORDERS

COVID-19 safety restrictions drove the need for online and phone services to replace face-to-face counselling and supports. People using substances are experiencing virtual services differently depending on their age, gender and where they are in Canada. It is important to understand how different people are experiencing services that are delivered through technology such as telemedicine, video conferencing or other apps.

In partnership with the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, the Canadian Psychological Association and Canada Health Infoway, the Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) collected national data on the experience and perceptions of virtual services and supports, including education and access to health care or treatment (e.g., counselling, peer support).

The data from this survey is now available in Considerations for Virtual Services and Supports for Substance Use and Concurrent Disorders [Policy Brief].

Conducted between February and April 2021, the survey asked people about:

  • Their satisfaction with virtual services and supports for substance use and concurrent disorders,
  • Their perceptions of the effectiveness of these services, and
  • Any barriers they faced to accessing these services.

The researchers also interviewed practitioners from across Canada who provided virtual services and supports for substance use disorders or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders during the pandemic.

To further develop sustainable and effective virtual services after the pandemic, policy and support for infrastructure are needed. This support must be based on evidence and consider both client and practitioner experiences.CCSA-Virtual-Services-Supports-Substance-Use-Concurrent-Disorders-Policy-Brief-2021-enDownload

Retrieved from: https://preventionconversation.org/2021/11/03/considerations-for-virtual-services-and-supports-for-substance-use-and-concurrent-disorders/

Upcoming ABLE2 Workshop

The Criminal Justice System & Disability: Know Your Rights

17 Nov, 2021

Join ABLE2 and Reach Canada for an educational session focusing on the criminal justice system and knowing your rights. Our speaker is James Foord, an experienced Ottawa criminal lawyer who will be covering the following topics of interest:

  • Interacting with the police: what are your rights when the police speak to you or ask you questions?
  • Criminal charges: what is the process after you have been charged with a criminal offence?
  • Court and community supports for people charged with criminal offences and
  • Considerations for people living with disabilities: what do you need to be aware of when dealing with the courts and/or the criminal justice system?

Workshop Details

Day & Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Cost: Free

Registration: Please register using the link below. Registered participants will be sent the Zoom link to access the workshop prior to the workshop.

REGISTER

For more information on this workshop or other sessions from ABLE 2 visit their website: www.able2.org

ALCOHOL POLICY IN CANADA — WEBINAR SERIES STARTING OCT. 20

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant changes in alcohol policy, consumption trends and harms. It is time for a renewed discussion on what this means for people living in Canada. With the Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and the Canadian Public Health Association, CCSA invites you to a webinar series exploring the effects of Canada’s pandemic response on public health and cancer prevention. We’ll also examine the role of policy in mitigating harms.

The four-part webinar series includes:

  • Alcohol and Cancer: Oct. 20, 12–1 p.m. eastern
  • Alcohol Use, Cost and Harm: Oct. 27, 12–1 p.m. eastern
  • Public Health Communication Approaches to Alcohol: Nov. 3, 12–1 p.m. eastern
  • Alcohol Policy Actions: Nov. 10, 12–1 p.m. eastern

Learn more about the speakers and register for the webinars (available in English only) on the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer website.

Session 1: Alcohol and Cancer

October 20, 2021
12 PM to 1 PM EST

TopicsSpeakers
Alcohol and cancer: an overview of evidence, policies, and programsElizabeth Holmes, Canadian Cancer Society
Benjamin Rempel, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
Panel on alcohol and cancerDr. Heather Bryant, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
Dr. Darren Brenner, University of Calgary

Session 2: Alcohol Use, Cost and Harm

October 27, 2021
12 PM to 1 PM EST

TopicsSpeakers
Alcohol use, cost, and harm: an overviewDr. Samantha King, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
Panel on alcohol use, cost and harmDr. Samantha Wells, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Dr. Adam Sherk, University of Victoria

Session 3: Public Health Communication Approaches to Alcohol

November 3, 2021
12 PM to 1 PM EST

TopicsSpeakers
Public health communication approaches to alcohol: an overviewDr. Catherine Paradis, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
Dr. Erin Hobin, Public Health Ontario
Panel on public health communication approaches to alcoholDr. Catherine Paradis, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
Dr. Erin Hobin, Public Health Ontario

Session 4: Alcohol Policy Actions

November 10, 2021
12 PM to 1 PM EST

TopicsSpeakers
Alcohol policy actions: an overviewDr. Bryce Barker, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction
Dr. Natalie Brender, Canadian Public Health Association
Panel on alcohol policy actionsDr. Robert Strang, Government of Nova Scotia
Candice St. Aubin, Public Health Agency of Canada

Register for the four-part webinar series

These webinars are organized in a collaborative effort between the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, and the Canadian Public Health Association

Retrieved from https://preventionconversation.org/2021/10/19/alcohol-policy-in-canada-webinar-series-starting-oct-20/

ALCOHOL-RELATED ILLNESSES IN ALBERTA SURGING DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Publishing date: Oct 10, 2021  

By Blair McBride

Hospitalizations from alcohol-related depression and withdrawal have increased in the pandemic, threatening to worsen mental health issues, said Dr. Eddy Lang, a co-author of a study examining hospital admission rates in the early months of the pandemic. Supplied by Dr. Eddy Lang
Hospitalizations from alcohol-related depression and withdrawal have increased in the pandemic, threatening to worsen mental health issues, said Dr. Eddy Lang, a co-author of a study examining hospital admission rates in the early months of the pandemic. 

Alberta is seeing a surge in alcohol-related illnesses that can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, experts say.

Mental and behavioural disorders resulting from alcohol use as well as alcohol-related depression and withdrawal are among the few non-COVID causes of hospital admission that have increased in the province since March 2020, says Calgary physician Dr. Eddy Lang.

An article co-written by Lang that was published in the medical journal PLOS ONE in June revealed alcohol consumption rose from the fifth-highest cause of hospitalization in the province to the third during the first six months of the pandemic.

Alcohol-related illnesses accounted for 3.46 per cent of hospital admissions between March and September 2020, up from 2.65 per cent in that timeframe the previous year.

“Considering the number of hospitalizations we have in Alberta, that’s a significant increase,” Lang said, attributing the rising drinking rates to heightened feelings of pandemic anxiety.

“There’s been lots of lost employment and family separation. We know that people are managing that with alcohol and cannabis. That’s going to manifest with people going overboard,” he said. “Alcohol is like gasoline on the fire of mental illness. If you’re already depressed you might think alcohol will make you feel better but in the long run it makes things worse because it contributes to suicidal thoughts.”

Click here to read the full article.

Retrieved from https://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/alcohol-related-illnesses-in-alberta-surging-during-covid-19-pandemic?_cldee=bGlzYUByb2dvemluc2t5Lm9yZw%3d%3d&recipientid=contact-e551c9199c4ce8118147480fcff4b171-027709f1bce2497683916bf3bc2f5ead&esid=54732e0d-6c2b-ec11-b6e6-0022486d9f56 and https://preventionconversation.org/2021/10/13/alcohol-related-illnesses-in-alberta-surging-during-covid-19-pandemic/

To find out more about how AHS can help you make a change, or to find an addiction services office near you, please call the 24-hour Help Line, 1-866-332-2322. Also visit https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/amh/page2459.aspx for more information.

Orange Shirt Day- September 30th

“Both the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day take place on September 30.

Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day that honours the children who survived Indian Residential Schools and remembers those who did not.” (https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/national-day-truth-reconciliation.html)

The NW Peace Network will be recognizing Orange Shirt Day. We encourage others to wear orange shirts to commemorate the day. We ask that everyone take time out of their day to reflect on the past and take a moment to hold space for the children we lost and the survivors of residential schools, their loved ones and communities.

We all play a role in the healing process. Below are some ideas of what you can do, not just on the 30th, but moving forward.

We respectfully acknowledge that we are situated on Treaty 8 territory, traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people.