Canada FASD Conference: Early bird registration is now open


The first ever Canada FASD Conference is happening in November 2023! Join us in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for three days of presentations and events to learn how we can transform evidence into action in the field of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

This conference will bring together approximately 500 researchers, caregivers, individuals with FASD, policymakers, and professionals to share what they know about FASD. Canadian and international attendees are welcome!


This year’s theme is Connect, Inspire, Innovate: From Evidence to Action. 

Le thème cette année est Rassembler, Inspirer, Innover: Évidences et Initiatives. 


Registration is now open. Early-bird price is $450 (plus eventbrite fee & GST) until June 30, after which it will be $500. follow this link to register: https://canfasd.ca/canada-fasd-conference/



Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol And Health – A Three-Part Webinar Series In March

Dear colleague,

Join us for a free webinar series on Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health. The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) is hosting the series on March 14, 21 and 28. Register now for one, two or all three webinars.

Webinar 1: The Making of Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health

Date: March 14, 1 p.m. eastern

Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health co-chairs, Dr. Catherine Paradis and Dr. Peter Butt, as well as the project’s lead epidemiologist, Dr. Kevin Shield

Designed for stakeholders and partners who used the 2011 Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines (LRDGs), this webinar will explain how the experts came to the conclusions they did for the 2023 Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health.

This is a unique opportunity to learn directly from those involved in the update of Canada’s 2011 LRDGs about the research behind the 2023 guidance.

Webinar 2: The Clinical Implications of Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health

Date: March 21, 1 p.m. eastern

Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health co-chair Dr. Peter Butt and CCSA CEO, Dr. Alexander Caudarella

Designed for health professionals, family doctors and nurses, this webinar will explain how the 2023 Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health can be used in clinical settings.

This is a unique opportunity to learn directly from those involved in the update of Canada’s 2011 LRDGs how best to use the 2023 guidance and engage in discussions about alcohol use with patients.

Webinar 3: Frequently Asked Questions from Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health

Date: March 28, 1 p.m. eastern

Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health’s leading experts: Dr. Catherine Paradis, Dr. Peter Butt, Dr. Kevin Shield, Dr. Nancy Poole, Dr. Samantha Wells, Dr. Erin Hobin and Dr. Tim Naimi

Open to both those who use the guidance in their work and the public, this conversational style webinar will answer frequently asked questions from Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health. It’s a unique opportunity to ask questions of those directly involved in the production of Canada’s new guidance.

**While the first two webinars are specifically designed for those in the health, policy and substance use fields, registration for the third webinar will be open to the public as well.**

Register today and join participants from these varied perspectives to review how Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Health can be applied in your daily work and life.

We look forward to seeing you!

Retrieved from https://preventionconversation.org/2023/02/28/register-today-canadas-guidance-on-alcohol-and-health-webinar-series/


University of Calgary: Research recruitment for families with neurodevelopmental disorders

The Owerko Centre at the University of Calgary is recruiting children and families who have a concern in development into a database for research recruitment. This database will allow researchers at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and UCalgary to contact families who may be interested in participating in research to tell them about studies. More information can be found here and here.

For more information on the research project reach out to Erin.

Erin Gionet (she/her)

NDD Research Database Coordinator

Owerko Centre, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute

University of Calgary

P: 403.441.3109 | C: 403.861.2157




New Webinar: Correctional Services and FASD

A conversation about correctional services and FASD: free CanFASD webinar.

Join us for our newest webinar, A Conversation About Correctional Services and FASD, happening Friday, February 24 at 1:00pm EST.

Dr. Mansfield Mela, Angela Kemble, and Michael Stansberry are feature presenters in this webinar. They will share research on the high prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in the corrections system and examples of current services and training offered to support individuals with FASD.

Be sure to register now to attend!

Retrieved from https://canfasd.ca/2023/02/22/new-webinar-correctional-services-and-fasd/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-webinar-correctional-services-and-fasd



Alberta Health Services 23 February 2023  |  12:05 – 12:50 (MST)  /  14:05 – 14:50 (ET)The

Addiction & Mental Health (AMH) Knowledge Bites Lunch & Learn Series is a quarterly event hosted by the Alberta Health Services Provincial AMH team. This series is intended for evaluators, researchers, decision makers, health professionals, and others with an interest in Addiction & Mental Health-related evidence topics.

The next presentation, Critical Opportunities in the Emergency Department for People Who Use Substances, will focus on how care in EDs has evolved based on findings from local research and with input from people with lived and living experience. Future areas of inquiry designed to improve care in the ED will also be discussed. 
Register now
Retrieved from https://preventionconversation.org/2023/02/20/addiction-mental-health-knowledge-bites-lunch-learn-series/

Abstract Submission Open for the Canada FASD Conference!

We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting abstract submissions for the Canada FASD Conference! The conference is November 7-9, 2023 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. We are accepting submissions for both Research/Policy/Practice and Personal Experience.  

Abstract submission

FASD touches many lives. To be successful in breaking down barriers, erasing stigma, and improving wellness, we need all people and perspectives working together. The goal of our conference is to ensure all voices connected to FASD have the opportunity to be heard.

We are accepting Research/Policy/Practice abstracts and Personal Experience abstracts. Individuals and teams are encouraged to submit abstracts that stimulate ideas and discussion, promote learning of knowledge and skills, and energize attendees to participate in debate and critical reflection.

Types of abstracts

For Research/Policy/Practice submissions, we are accepting abstracts for oral presentation, interactive learning workshops, and posters. Work submitted for presentation should not have been reported previously in a publication, either as an article or as an abstract. Presenters will need to clearly establish the applicable use of their work for the audience.

For Personal Experience abstracts we are inviting mothers, individuals with FASD and their families/caregivers to share their stories. We encourage different types of submissions, including posters, artwork, storytelling, or oral presentations.

Canada FASD Conference themes

The conference theme is Connect, Inspire, Innovate: From Evidence to Action. Focusing on work that has a tangible impact can help us envision and action a future where barriers are broken down and stigma is eliminated.

We want stories that can connect us, projects that will inspire us, and innovations that are moving the field forward. When we show how we can move from evidence to action, we can empower everyone.

Abstracts are welcome in all areas of FASD and FASD Prevention.  The conference will focus on presentations in the following areas:

  • Current trends and new issues
  • Wellness including resiliency, physical health, and healthy approaches
  • Reconciliation, community and culture-driven approaches
  • Supporting at-risk or priority populations (e.g., youth and emerging adults, incarcerated and justice involved-persons, older adults, people who are unhoused, new Canadians, LGBTQ2S+, etc.)
  • Stigma reduction and discrimination
  • Innovative and novel approaches to delivering care
  • The continuum of care: promoting health, services, and support across the lifespan
  • Building capacity
  • Clinical research
  • Prevention efforts that span the spectrum of FASD prevention approaches
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Intersections of FASD with Child welfare, Justice, Housing, Employment, Education, and parenting
  • International work; and
  • Personal experience.

How to submit an abstract

You can submit an abstract on the conference website for both Personal Experience abstracts and Research/Policy/Practice abstracts. The deadline for abstract submissions is April 24, 2023.

Retrieved from https://canfasd.ca/2023/02/15/abstract-submission-open-for-the-canada-fasd-conference/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=abstract-submission-open-for-the-canada-fasd-conference



Lauren Pelley · CBC News · Posted: Jan 24, 2023 2:00 AM MST 

Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/alcohol-drinking-brain-science-1.6722942?_cldee=WqmxvHZh89naExonMzwr109zCHEWiuymx_eIqm0t5a_Tm39jIirLW0ERXy9KbwUO&recipientid=contact-e551c9199c4ce8118147480fcff4b171-bd325f752e8248b689ca6f737470728a&esid=6da4d6c1-be9c-ed11-aad1-0022486dc98c

and https://preventionconversation.org/2023/01/27/cbc-hangover-headaches-are-the-least-of-your-worries-scientists-say-drinking-can-be-hard-on-the-brain/

Last year, Jesica Hurst began to reevaluate the role casual drinking played in her life, and what it meant for her wellbeing and mental health. Around six months ago, the Toronto resident decided to give up alcohol entirely. “I still deal with the day-to-day anxieties… but it's a lot more manageable," she said.

Last year, Jesica Hurst began to re-evaluate the role casual drinking played in her life, and what it meant for her wellbeing and mental health. Around six months ago, the Toronto resident gave up alcohol entirely. (Lauren Pelley/CBC)

For Jesica Hurst, kicking off the weekend used to mean having a glass of wine. 

Drinking was also her go-to for all kinds of situations, from combating social anxiety before a big night out, to winding down after a stressful day at work. 

But it came with a downside — feelings of sadness, anxiety and stress in the days that followed. And for someone with diagnosed anxiety and depression, the Toronto resident began to re-evaluate the role casual drinking played in her life, and what it meant for her wellbeing and mental health.

Around six months ago, Hurst gave up alcohol entirely.

Since then, “I’ve noticed that things are a lot more balanced,” she said. “I still deal with the day-to-day anxieties… but it’s a lot more manageable.”

It’s no secret that a night of drinking can rattle your head — from the brain buzz it provides in the moment, to the morning-after headaches and feelings of ‘hangxiety’ people often get after having a bit too much booze.

But what does science actually tell us about how alcohol affects your brain?

While liver issues, heart disease and various types of cancer are typically talked about as potential impacts of long-term drinking, research also suggests alcohol can negatively affect mental health conditions or hike the risk of cognitive problems and dementia. On the flip side, cutting back — or cutting it out — could give your brain a boost.

“We see the world through rose-tinted glasses when we’re drinking,” said Tim Stockwell, a scientist at the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research and professor at the University of Victoria.

“However, that’s the short-term effect. The longer-term effect is that, even just over a few hours, alcohol is a [central nervous system] depressant, and that lift of mood is replaced by tiredness, fatigue and anxiety.”

‘Abundant evidence’

There’s a growing body of evidence of both alcohol’s negative impacts on the brain, and the benefits of cutting back, echoed researcher Dr. Henry Kranzler, a professor of psychiatry and director of the Center for Studies of Addiction at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.

“Sleep is disrupted by alcohol, even modest amounts of alcohol,” he said, adding that heavier drinking has also long been associated with a depressed mood. 

One review of published medical research in the late 1990s suggested that, even then, “abundant evidence” showed patients with mood and anxiety disorders should abstain from even moderate drinking, as it “adversely affects their clinical course and response to treatment.”

Heavier drinking, Stockwell says, can further accelerate and exaggerate emotional ups and downs.

“Anxiety is more pressing, it’s more intense,” he said. “The alcohol will take it away and alleviate it for a short while, but it bounces back more lively than ever.”

A sweeping report on alcohol-related harms released in 2018 by the World Health Organization (WHO) described alcohol as a “psychoactive substance” affecting various neural pathways and parts of the brain.

That means the brain is affected both while someone is drinking — which can show up as increased confidence, reduced inhibitions and reaction times, and eventual impairment that can make activities like driving a car far more dangerous — and after the fact.

Click here to read the full article.


New Webinar: A Digital Handbook on Wraparound Programs

Join us and the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health at this one-hour webinar,  Co-Creating Evidence: A Digital Handbook on Wraparound Programs on January 31, 2023 at 1:00pm EST.

Wraparound supports are essential for those who are pregnant and using substance. The Digital Handbook on Wraparound Programs is a free resource, created to support the development and operation of wraparound programs for pregnant and/or early parenting women and gender diverse people facing substance use and related concerns.

The handbook was developed with multiple different people in mind, including program planners, managers and staff, service partners from a variety of health and social sectors, funders, researchers, community members, and families affected by perinatal substance use. It was produced as part of the Co-Creating Evidence project.

In this webinar, presenters Deborah Rutman, Carol Hubberstey, Marilyn Van Bibber, and Nancy Pool will share more about this resource and how it may be applied to your work. Register now to attend.

You can find all of our past webinars on our website!

Retrieved from https://canfasd.ca/2023/01/18/new-webinar-wraparound-programs-fasd-prevention/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-webinar-wraparound-programs-fasd-prevention



Retrieved from https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/researchers-consider-how-to-denormalize-drinking-culture-ahead-of-new-alcohol-guide-1.6228451

Camille Bains
The Canadian Press

Lee-Anne Richardson is celebrating the three-year anniversary of a support group she founded for people who’ve decided to ditch alcohol or cut back as part of what she considers a movement toward healthier living, especially by younger generations.

Richardson, 38, said she spent much of her 20s binge-drinking. She blames alcohol for destroying many of her relationships and says her self-esteem plummeted as she tried to control how much she consumed.

The turning point came after another night out with friends at a bar in March 2014 when Richardson realized she either had to quit drinking or “something very, very bad is going to happen.”

After attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, Richardson realized she needed to replace the social connections she’d made during her “drinking career” with more positive ones while also supporting others through their own journey to sobriety or less alcohol.

In January 2020, she launched a group called Sober City and soon heard from people who were drinking more in isolation during pandemic lockdowns due to boredom and/or anxiety.

Richardson was surprised to learn how much alcohol is considered a “low risk” based on Canada’s current low-risk drinking guidelines — up to two drinks a day, or 10 a week for women and three daily drinks, or 15 per week, for men.

“That’s a fair amount. This is a poison that we’re talking about,” she said of the links to heart disease and cancer associated with alcohol.

The guidelines, set in 2011, are expected to be updated next week by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. Proposed changes released last summer suggest Canada’s recommendations will dramatically decrease.

In its proposal, the centre said research suggests health-related risk from alcohol is negligible to low when consuming two drinks per week; moderate for three-to-six drinks per week; and increasingly high beyond that.

Overall, it recommends no more than two drinks a week.

The update is expected Tuesday after two years of research, a review of nearly 6,000 peer-reviewed studies and about 1,000 survey submissions from the public. Part of the project was funded by Health Canada.

The research includes the impact of alcohol in areas such as women’s health and the association between alcohol use, aggression and violence, the CCSA said. It’s aiming to launch an online advertising campaign by February to raise awareness.

Richardson believes a potential dramatic shift in the guideline is in line with what she’s heard from people in their 20s and 30s about the importance of their mental health and that excessive drinking is “not really that cool.”

“They know that drinking makes mental health and anxiety worse. They’re seeing it,” said Richardson, a data analyst for a shipbuilding company.

However, Catherine Paradis, interim co-chair of the CCSA’s updated guidance project, said the recommendation for Canadians to consider reducing their alcohol intake is “not an easy ask” for those who enjoy drinking regularly, so policy changes will need to be made to highlight the risks.

“A particularly effective one could be the mandatory labelling of all alcoholic beverages with the number of standard drinks, Canada’s guidance on alcohol, and health warnings,” Paradis said, adding that would involve the federal and/or provincial governments.

“People will need support from governments. We will need to shape our whole drinking environment differently so there will need to be policies that promote public health,” she said.

Alcohol is known to affect various organs, putting people at increased risk for cirrhosis, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, multiple cancers as well as injury from falls and motor vehicle crashes.

Erin Hobin, a senior scientist at Ontario Public Health and a member of the scientific advisory committee responsible for reviewing the evidence on the updated guidance, said there is relatively low public awareness about the health impacts of alcohol other than increased risk of birth defects for those who drink during pregnancy.

Hobin was a lead investigator on a 2020 study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. It suggested 24.5 per cent of 836 liquor store patrons surveyed at three liquor stores in Yukon and Northwest Territories in 2017 were aware of alcohol-related cancer risks. The study was led by the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria.

The idea behind the updated guidance is to provide Canadians with the latest evidence-based information about the health risks involved, Hobin said.

“Alcohol is present at weddings and anniversaries and birthday parties; on Friday night to relax after a long week of work. So how do we start to shift the Canadian culture around alcohol to denormalize alcohol? Perhaps (warning) labels may play a role in starting this,” she said.

Click here to read the full article.


Join us at the Canada FASD Conference 2023!

Logo for the Canada FASD Conference 2023, November 7-9, 2023 in Saskatoon, SK featuring a line drawing of the Saskatoon skyline.

It’s finally happening! CanFASD is hosting a national conference on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

The Canada FASD Conference 2023 is coming to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan November 7-9, 2023.  

What’s it about?

This conference will bring people from across Canada together to share how research and evidence can inform tangible solutions to address the complexities of FASD. This year’s theme is Connect, Inspire, Innovate: From Evidence to Action.  

What should I expect?

Attendees can expect lots of opportunities to learn and connect with other people who are passionate about FASD. This three-day event will include keynote presentations, workshops, poster sessions, and various speakers. It is being held at TCU Place in Saskatoon. The event will be limited to 500 people. 

Who should come?

Anyone and everyone that is passionate about FASD and neurodevelopmental disabilities are invited. This conference is a great opportunity for:

  • Developmental disability researchers, especially those focused on FASD;
  • Individuals with FASD, their family members, and those that care for them;
  • FASD professionals, including those working in diagnostic clinics and support programs;
  • Professionals working in child welfare and social services;
  • Policymakers and government representatives;
  • Educators and school staff;
  • Mental health, substance use and addictions professionals;
  • Individuals focused on FASD prevention and women’s health promotion;
  • Doctors, nurses, midwives, and other healthcare practitioners;
  • Lawyers, corrections officers, police, judges, and other law and justice professionals;
  • And many more!

Canadian and international attendees are welcome! Stay tuned to the CanFASD channels for more information on registration and keep an eye out for our upcoming call for abstracts.

If you’d like to attend, please fill out our interest form to stay up to date on the latest conference news and updates.

Retrieved from https://canfasd.ca/2023/01/11/join-us-at-the-canada-fasd-conference-2023/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=join-us-at-the-canada-fasd-conference-2023