We will be hosting a new webinar with Dr. Brianne Redquest, our 2021 Dr. Sterling Clarren FASD Research Award winner, on March 19, 2021 at 1:00 pm Eastern Time.

Dr. Redquest is a postdoctoral fellow with the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Her research looks at the effect of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) on supporting the wellbeing of caregivers of individuals with FASD. Caregivers of people with FASD report high levels of stress and a need for support. However, there are very few interventions that specifically target their wellbeing. Preliminary results suggest that ACT training can significantly reduce stress and improve psychological wellbeing for caregivers. It can also help caregivers to feel supported and valued.

Dr. Redquest is the recipient of this year’s Dr. Sterling Clarren FASD Research Award, which recognizes researchers who have made a significant contribution to improve the lives of individuals with FASD, their families, and their communities. The award was named after Dr. Sterling Clarren to celebrate his contribution to, and leadership in, the field of FASD.

The award winner is usually invited to present their research at the International Research Conference on FASD held annually in Vancouver, British Columbia. However, due to the current global pandemic, we are shifting to a virtual presentation. Dr. Sterling Clarren will host this webinar and will present Dr. Redquest with this award.

Be sure to register now to attend!



Deciding to get help for an addiction to alcohol or other drugs can be one of the most important decisions of your life. It is important to know that when people struggling with addiction get the help they need, recovery is achievable and sustainable. Like other chronic health conditions, addiction requires care and support, so it is critical that you seek help from a professional with skills and expertise in treating addiction.

This guide provides information about the different treatment options that are available in Canada and important questions you should ask when talking to an addiction or healthcare provider or considering a treatment program. This guide does not provide all the answers as to what is best for you, there are many journeys to recovery and these journeys are individual. What works for one person may not work for another. The key is to ask the right questions when you are seeking services and supports so that you are able to make the choices and decisions that are best for you.

This guide is a starting point for your individual journey. See page 12 for a list of websites and contact information when you are ready to find out more information about treatment options in your province or territory. This guide does not take the place of advice from an addiction or healthcare provider. If you are in an immediate crisis or danger, please call 9-1-1. See next page for a list of crisis and help lines in your province or territory.


Retrieved from Finding Quality Addiction Care in Canada (preventionconversation.org)



The COVID-19 pandemic has created disruptions in our lives that can cause feelings of stress and anxiety. These feelings are normal.

Have you been experiencing any of the following?

  • Sadness or low mood
  • Feeling overwhelmed or frustrated Isolation or loneliness
  • Fear or worry
  • Anger or irritation
  • Problems sleeping
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Consuming more alcohol, cannabis or other substances than usual

If you have, and these feelings or experiences are affecting your day-to-day life, consider reaching out for help.

Virtual care refers to services that use technology such as video, telephone and messaging to provide health care when caregivers and clients cannot meet in person.

Virtual care can be effective and is available now.

Wellness Together Canada: The Government of Canada’s website offers tools, resources and virtual counselling for mental health and substance use support. Visit the website to get started.

Healthcare providers: Many healthcare providers are available to support you virtually. Talk to a healthcare provider such as your family doctor, nurse practitioner, a registered psychologist or other mental health and addiction professionals.

Virtual peer-support: Many peer-support services are available to support you virtually. Visit the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s website to learn more.

Community-based mental health and substance use care: Find services to support health and wellness in your province and territory. Visit the Government of Canada’s Taking care of your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic web page or the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction’s Finding Quality Addiction Care in Canada.

Employee and Family Assistance Programs: Many workplaces have Employee and Family Assistance Programs that offer resources and professional counselling for mental health and substance use. Talk to your employer to find out more about available resources.


Retrieved from Virtual Care for Mental Health and Substance Use During COVID-19 (preventionconversation.org)



OG_CCSALogo.png (1200×630)

Dear colleague,

Canadians are feeling the strain during the COVID-19 pandemic. While these uncertain times are proving difficult for us all, they are presenting greater challenges and risks to people with substance use disorders or mental illness. Up to one in two individuals with an existing substance use disorder reported having moderately severe to severe symptoms of depression since March 2020, according to a new Leger poll.

These findings are from a new series of bimonthly Leger polls commissioned by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) to shed light on the ongoing impact of the pandemic on Canadians’ mental health and substance use.

Around one-third of those surveyed who drink alcohol reported drinking more since the start of the pandemic. This increase was greater among respondents with a history of substance use disorders, four in 10 to almost half of whom reported increased alcohol consumption during this period. 

Although substance use and mental health symptoms were high across the board, it is clear that people with a history of mental health or substance use concerns are being disproportionately impacted by stresses related to the pandemic.

Other key facts include:

  • Up to one in two respondents with current mental health symptoms who use cannabis reported increased use since March 2020, compared to two in five of the general population.
  • Over one in three respondents with current mental health symptoms who use alcohol reported consuming more since the start of the pandemic.
  • Moderate and severe anxiety symptoms were highest among respondents with lifetime substance use disorder and lifetime mental health diagnoses.
  • Respondents’ top stressors were financial strain (14%), social isolation (12%) and the health of family members (11%).
  • Just 24 per cent of respondents with problematic substance use and 22 per cent with current mental health symptoms have accessed treatment since March.

It is more important than ever that Canadians have timely access to a full range of quality services and supports that meet them where they are. In response to these findings, CCSA is highlighting some of its existing resources and supports:

We encourage you to share this publication with your networks. You can download the full survey data on the MHCC website and find a comprehensive list of resources on substance use and COVID-19 in CCSA’s online resource centre.

If you have any questions about the polling project or want to know more about our work with MHCC, please email RJesseman@ccsa.ca.

Retrieved from Message From The Canadian Centre on Substance Use And Addiction (preventionconversation.org)




More and more online opportunities for professional development are popping up in our increasingly virtual environment. Although there are lots of courses out there for specific professions, there are very few online learning opportunities for the range of professionals who work with people with FASD and women who are at risk of having a child with FASD.

Best Practices for Prevention, Intervention, and Support is CanFASD’s newest online learning course, available Spring 2021. It is designed for professionals working in the fields of substance use, mental health, housing, employment, justice, and more.

This webinar will provide an overview of the four modules provided in this course. It will also highlight some of the key tools and resources included in the modules to support individuals who have or are at risk of having a child with FASD and/or may have FASD themselves.

This video is part of our CanFASD webinar series, bringing evidence-based research on FASD to Canadians from the comfort of your own home.

Music “Enigmatic” from https://www.bensound.com​


Doorways to Conversation – https://bccewh.bc.ca/wp-content/uploa…

Towards Healthy Outcomes – https://canfasd.ca/publications/towar…

CanFASD Online Learning – https://canfasd.ca/online-learners/




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Register now for our new webinar Assessment of Preschoolers with Prenatal Alcohol ExposureA joint event with the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute and CanFASD, this panel discussion will feature presentations from Dr. Ana Hanlon Dearman and Dr. Ghita Wiebe. It will be a 1-hour event at 1:00 pm eastern time on February 5, 2021.

Receiving a diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the first step in connecting a child to the appropriate supports and beginning to plan for the future. This webinar will provide awareness and understanding of the multidisciplinary assessment for FASD in preschool children with prenatal alcohol exposure. Dr. Ana Hanlon-Dearman and Dr. Ghita Wiebe will explain the process of diagnosis, the benefits of diagnosis, and describe the current state of preschool FASD multidisciplinary assessments. Ms. Mohr is a caregiver to a child with FASD. She will speak to the impact of receiving her daughter’s diagnosis. There will be 10-15 minutes at the end of the presentation for attendees to have questions answered by the panelists.




Written by Robby Berman on January 29, 2021 — Fact checked by Alexandra Sanfins, Ph.D.

  • A new study finds that depression and anxiety contribute to increased drinking during the pandemic.
  • The effect is most pronounced for those over the age of 40 years.
  • Among older people, those with depression and anxiety are more than twice as likely to drink more alcohol.

Previous research has found that people turn to alcohol as a means of helping them handle stress, such as in the period following the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks.

The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Numerous studies have found that alcohol consumption has increased during the pandemic, and dramatically so for people with depression.

A new study takes a fresh look at drinking during the pandemic and finds, for the first time, that age affects the likelihood of a person consuming more alcohol as a response to the pandemic.

Lead author Ariadna Capasso, of NYU School of Global Public Health in New York City, says:

“This increase in drinking, particularly among people with anxiety and depression, is consistent with concerns that the pandemic may be triggering an epidemic of problematic alcohol use.”

The study features in the journal Preventive Medicine.

The study’s general findings

The researchers surveyed 5,850 adults from all 50 states through Facebook and its associated platforms during the months of March and April 2020. They asked the participants to describe themselves demographically and report how their alcohol use had changed since the start of the pandemic.

The survey also included questions that allowed the researchers to identify and measure the participants’ symptoms of depression and anxiety. Each person also reported the degree to which they felt at risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Of all the participants identifying themselves as drinkers, 29% reported that their alcohol consumption had increased during the pandemic.

Of the drinkers, 51.2% said that the pandemic had not affected the amount of alcohol that they consumed, while another 19.8% reported drinking less.

Of all the people surveyed, 47% and 30% reported symptoms of anxiety and depression, respectively.

Individuals reporting symptoms of depression were 64% more likely to be consuming greater amounts of alcohol, while anxiety was associated with a 41% higher likelihood of increased drinking.

The study also found that demographic factors affected alcohol consumption during the pandemic:

  • Women were more likely (33% as opposed to 24%) to have increased their drinking than men.
  • Highly educated people were more likely to have started drinking more (32%) than those without a bachelor’s degree (25%).
  • Fewer retirees (20%) reported drinking more than employed and currently unemployed participants, 31% of whom were consuming more alcohol.
  • People living in rural areas were less likely to have upped their alcohol intake (25%) compared with those living in suburban and urban areas (31%).

Click here to read the full article in Medical News Today.

Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/depression-anxiety-spur-pandemic-alcohol-consumption and Depression, anxiety spur pandemic alcohol consumption (preventionconversation.org)



(Message from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction)

Dear colleague, 

Please join us for a new webinar series focused on alcohol, the National Alcohol Forum: Implications of COVID-19.

The pandemic has had far-reaching impacts on Canadians, including on alcohol use and sales, and on changes to alcohol policy. Recent polling data suggests that around 20% of Canadians have been drinking more during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, many provinces and territories have relaxed alcohol sales and consumption regulations during the pandemic.

In February, this series of webinars will explore evidence-informed alcohol policy and responses relating to alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with a range of experts and learn more about these important alcohol-related issues. Space is limited for these webinars. We encourage you to register early to secure your place.

The Effects of COVID-19 on Alcohol Sales, Consumption and Harms

Are Canadians buying and drinking more alcohol than usual during the pandemic? This webinar will explore alcohol sales, consumption patterns and impacts during the pandemic, drawing on the results of surveys and polls commissioned by CCSA and others.

Date: February 2, 2021, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m., EST

Register now


Dr. Daniel Myran, CIHR Fellow, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Rebecca Jesseman, Director, Policy, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Please note that this webinar will be presented in English.

COVID-19 and Alcohol Policy

Evidence-informed alcohol policies are crucial tools to minimize the harms associated with alcohol use. This webinar will explore policies for preventing and reducing the negative impacts of alcohol use, focusing on changes made to alcohol policy during the COVID-19 pandemic and their implications for public health.

Date: February 10, 2021, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m., EST-

Register now


Dr. Erin Hobin, Scientist, Public Health Ontario

Dr. Catherine Paradis, Senior Research and Policy Analyst, Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Please note that this webinar will be presented in English

Retrieved from: CCSA Webinar Series: National Alcohol Forum, Implications of COVID-19. (preventionconversation.org)


Alcohol Harms The Brain in Teen Years–Before and After That, Too

Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Beer pong, drinking game, ping pong ball splashing down into red plastic cup of beer

If we only paid attention to ads, it might seem as though alcohol — a beer or glass of wine, a shot of fiery liquor or sophisticated cocktail — merely served as a way to bring people together and make them happy. Drink responsibly, the ads wink, without ever explaining the toll that frequent or excessive alcohol use exacts, particularly at certain stages in life. Because alcohol doesn’t just get us drunk, impair our judgment, and hurt our liver: it can have many other bad effects on our bodies — including effects on the brain.

In a recent editorial in The BMJ, a trio of scientists pointed out that there are three periods in life when the brain goes through major changes and is particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. Two of those periods are at the beginning and end of life. When pregnant women drink alcohol, it can damage the developing brain of the fetus, leading to physical problems, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems. When people over the age of 65 drink alcohol, it can worsen declines in brain function that happen during aging.

The third period is adolescence. During those years of transition between childhood and adulthood, the brain grows and changes in many important ways that are crucial for that transition to be successful. When teens and young adults drink alcohol, it can interfere with that process of brain development in ways that affect the rest of their lives.

Alcohol use in teens and young adults

Click here to read the full article.

Retrieved from Alcohol harms the brain in teen years –– before and after that, too (preventionconversation.org)


FASD Symposium January 26, 2021

We’re making history this year at the annual FASD Symposium … not only is this the first time we’ve ever hosted the event virtually, but we’ve smashed our previous attendance records for this event. There are now over 300 people registered to join us to dialogue about Managing Challenging Behaviours in Children, Youth and Adults with FASD.

We have delegates from all over Canada and the United States, and a handful of international attendees too. Check out who’s coming.

Caregivers, people with FASD, educators and other professionals who work and volunteer in our communities are already confirmed to attend. You are going to miss out!

Schedule of Events
Speaker Line-Up
Registration Information

What to Expect from the Symposium
The deadline to register ($125 CAD per person) is on Friday, January 15th. After this date we can no longer accept any other registrations. We are already very close to maximum capacity for this event. Foil FOMO by registering today!

Retrieved from: FASD Symposium January 26, 2021 (preventionconversation.org)