Cannabis Use and Pregnancy Policy Alert—The effects of cannabis use during pregnancy, in light of Canadian government plans to legalize cannabis by July 1, 2018.

SOGC Statement on Cannabis Use & Pregnancy—The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada’s position statement on marijuana use during pregnancy.

Bill C-325 Policy Alert—Bill C325 and Implications for Individuals with FASD

Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) – A multi-level model – This issue paper summarizes what has been learned about the prevention of FASD in the course of implementation of prevention initiatives across Canada and describes the four levels of FASD prevention.

The Efficacy of Warning Labels on Alcohol Containers for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Prevention – This issue paper explores the effectiveness of alcohol warning labels as an FASD prevention strategy and offers ideas to increase the potential use and impact of warning labels.

The effectiveness of alcohol warning labels for reducing drinking in pregnancy: A brief review – Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is prevalent in many countries around the world. One approach to FASD prevention is the use of alcohol warning labels (AWLs) to provide information about the risks associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Although AWLs are a policy option commonly supported by the general public, their effectiveness for changing behaviour among high-risk maternal drinkers has not been documented in the research and their use remains controversial.

Genetic and Epigenetic Perspectives on the Role of Fathers in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder – The purpose of this issue paper is to summarize the current research on the genetic and epigenetic perspectives of the potential contribution of fathers to FASD.

The Role of Partners in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Prevention – This issue paper highlights the role of partners in influencing maternal alcohol consumption and offers suggestions to further integrate partners into FASD prevention efforts. Although most research to date has focused largely on the role of fathers in contributing to women’s substance use, we acknowledge that partners can be men, women, or gender-diverse people, and that some women may have multiple partners or may be single by choice or circumstance.

Cannabis Use During Pregnancy – In 2018, the Canadian government introduced legislation that would allow adults to legally possess and use cannabis. This issue paper explores what is known about the effects of cannabis use during pregnancy.

Taking a relational approach: the importance of timely and supportive connections for women – This issue paper has been prepared for decision makers, health system planners and service providers interested in improving care for women at risk of having a child a ected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. It has been prepared by members of the CanNorthwest FASD Research Network’s Action Team on FASD Prevention from a Women’s Health Determinants Perspective. is sheet describes the rationale for multi-faceted relational approaches, and extended timeframes for engagement and support, and finishes with ten recommendations for improved care that have implications for policy, system planning and practice.

Computer Game Interventions for Individuals with FASD — Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of disabilities and diagnoses that can result from prenatal exposure to alcohol. Intervention and treatment options for individuals with FASD are both costly and resource-intensive because they are tailored to the client. Computer game interventions present a novel approach to interventions that may help mitigate the effects of brain injury associated with FASD.

The Impact of Jordan’s Principle on Children with FASD — Jordan’s Principle is a child-first principle meant to prevent First Nations children from being deprived of essential public services or experiencing delays in receiving them.

Nutritional Supplementation and FASD — Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of disabilities and diagnoses that can result from prenatal exposure to alcohol. Maternal nutrition can often be compromised when alcohol is consumed, especially in situations of chronic alcoholism. Poor overall nutrition may contribute to and/or compound the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure. Recent evidence from preclinical studies suggests that pre- or postnatal nutritional supplementation may improve neurocognitive function (e.g., learning, memory) and behaviour. Thus nutritional supplementation may be an accessible method for improving maternal and fetal pre- and postnatal health.

FASD and Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour — The occurrence of inappropriate sexual behaviours (ISB) is an adverse life outcome that may be experienced by individuals with FASD. The purpose of this paper is to highlight an overview of the current existing research conducted in this area and offer implications for individuals, families, caregivers, and policy makers.

FASD, Stress and Mental Health — Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE). Individuals with FASD can experience complex behavioural and intellectual problems that persist throughout the lifespan, and can become increasingly complicated, even when supported. Over the last few decades, further research has begun to reveal a close relationship among PAE, stress pathways and mental health.

Current Strategies and Educational Supports for Students with FASD — Evidence shows the need for revised strategies and improved educational supports for students with FASD through all levels of diagnosis, assessment, and intervention planning if positive learning outcomes are desired.

Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Experiences of Stigma — The purpose of this issue paper is to explore the ways in which individuals with FASD experience stigma, identify the implications of stigma on individuals and their families, and provide recommendations to reduce stigma.

Policy Action Paper: Toward a Standard Definition of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Canada — This policy action paper describes the approach taken to create a standard definition of FASD, as well as our proposed definition for use in FASD policy and practice.

Strengths Among Individuals with FASD — The vast majority of FASD research is focused on the challenges and impairments associated with the disability, as well as the burden of FASD on families and the broader community. This type of research can help to validate the experiences of individuals with FASD and their families, and to inform where services and supports might be needed the most. However, the simultaneous lack of strengths-based studies can perpetuate a sense of shame, suffering, and victimization, and contribute to the stigma already associated with FASD. By neglecting to explore the successes of individuals with FASD, we fail to recognize their immense potential and celebrate the unique contributions that each individual has to offer. The goal of the current issue paper was to review the existing strengths-based FASD literature and highlight the need for more studies to fill this critical gap.

Employment and FASD: Strategies for Success — Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the most common type of developmental disability in North America. Although a large majority of individuals with FASD do not have any visible signs of their disability, they all have some kind of permanent brain injury that impacts their daily life; in particular, the ability to find meaningful employment.

Alcohol Consumption and FASD

Dose-response effect of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and prenatal alcohol exposure: A brief review — Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the most common type of developmental disability worldwide. One of the most important unanswered questions in the field is “how much alcohol in pregnancy is too much?” or what is the “safe” amount of alcohol consumption in pregnancy. The question has been evaluated extensively in humans and in animal models and the answer is not simple unfortunately.

Meconium Screening for FASD in Pregnancy — Identifying prenatal exposure to alcohol is important for prevention and diagnosis, but information about maternal alcohol consumption is often difficult to obtain. It has been suggested that measuring the presence of fatty acid ethyl esters in meconium may be used as a “biomarker” to establish maternal problem drinking.

Two Recent Approaches to FASD Diagnosis: An Issue Paper — Over the last 50 years, a significant amount of research and clinical expertise has been devoted to characterizing the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the developing fetus. Simultaneously, a variety of systems and approaches have also emerged to provide diagnostic guidance for the related diagnoses. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is now widely used to describe the resultant sequelae associated with prenatal alcohol exposure.

Why is FASD diagnosis important? — Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE). Individuals with FASD can experience complex behavioural and intellectual problems that persist throughout the lifespan, and can become increasingly complicated, if unsupported. The need for early and accurate diagnosis is critical for improving outcomes and quality of life.

FASD Prevalence in Special Populations — Based on the most current research, the estimated prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in the general Canadian population is 4%. However, rates of FASD are believed to be much higher in certain groups. The goal of this issue paper is to take a closer look at the research on special populations that may be at greater risk for FASD, including children in care, individuals involved in the justice system, and Indigenous communities. This examination is critical to understanding the demographic, social, geographical, and cultural factors that underlie drinking during pregnancy, and which groups may warrant additional support to ensure healthy outcomes.

The Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder — Since Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was first defined in North America in the 1970s, researchers have been working to determine prevalence rates of this disability. The social and economic impacts of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) on families and the broader community are profound, thus understanding the scope of the issue is critical. Over the years, researchers have used various methodologies and examined a range of geographical regions and populations around the world in their efforts to establish prevalence rates. Because of these differing approaches, FASD prevalence findings have not always been consistent. The purpose of this issue paper is to share the most up-to- date research findings, and to provide clarity around the question, “How many people have FASD?”

Social and Economic Cost of FASD — The complexity and chronicity of FASD impacts both the individual and their family, and requires a wide range of assistance from services including health care, community services, remedial education and others. As a result, FASD has a substantial economic and societal impact, as these impairments can have lifelong implications.

FASD and the Criminal Justice System: A Review — Involvement in the criminal justice system (CJS) has long been identified as a significant adverse outcome for many individuals with FASD.1 The legal issues associated with FASD have substantial financial implications, with estimates of annual justice-related costs at $1.2 billion per year in Canada, functioning as one of the greatest cost drivers linked with FASD.2 Although there is growing interest in how to shape judicial responses, treatment, and policy to better address the needs of this population, the extent to which interventions and reforms are grounded in empirical evidence is unclear. Uninformed changes could not only prove to be ineffective but may even lead to unanticipated negative outcomes. The purpose of this issue paper is to provide a summary of the current state of the evidence on FASD in the CJS.

Victimization in People with FASD — Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is disability that affects the body and brain, causing life- long impacts on physical and cognitive development, social and emotional functioning, and behaviour.1 Individuals with FASD are also at increased risk for negative life outcomes, including trouble with school and work, mental health and substance use issues, inappropriate behaviours, as well as involvement with the legal system. In the context of criminal justice, most researchers mention the increased risk of individuals with FASD coming into contact with the system as offenders, witnesses, and/or victims,3 however, very little attention is paid to the complexities of the victimization of those with FASD. Thus, the goal of the current paper is to explore the issue of victimization in FASD and make recommendations for improving the justice process for these individuals.