Prenatal exposure to alcohol is the leading preventable cause of birth defects, intellectual disability and neurodevelopmental disorders. April is Alcohol Awareness Month, an opportunity to focus on alcohol misuse and effects. The AAP Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Program, under a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, supports the campaign through awareness-building and development of educational resources for pediatricians.
To ensure that all children affected by prenatal alcohol exposure receive appropriate and timely interventions, access the FASD Toolkit (http://bit.ly/1MHgYMF). The toolkit offers best practice documents, tools and step-by-step guidance on how to identify and manage children with a FASD in the medical home.
Two new resources are available in the FASD Toolkit:
- The 2017 FASD webinar series at http://bit.ly/2lTWN51 consists of three 45-minute educational webinars focusing on the identification, diagnosis, referral and care management of children with one of the FASDs. Complete the pre-test and post-test surveys beneath the webinar recordings to give feedback on how to improve future content.
- The Substance Use Screening and Intervention Implementation Guide, available at http://bit.ly/2meNBuj, was developed based on a survey of pediatric clinicians to assess screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) attitudes and practices for adolescent substance use, particularly alcohol. Survey findings indicate a significant increase in the number of pediatric clinicians who report screening for alcohol use in patients ages 9-20 (up from 50% in 1997 to 75% in 2013). However, many clinicians surveyed were not using an evidence-based and validated screening tool. Clinicians suspected that they likely were missing a lot of youths who engage in risky alcohol use. The guide helps pediatricians incorporate SBIRT for use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs among adolescent patients and encourages the use of a validated screening tool.