619 Pregnancy, Substance Use and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

The Addiction Technology Transfer Center of New England , funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) at Brown University Center for Alcohol & Addiction Studies, is offering a credited, on-line course on pregnancy, substance use and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

No one likes to think that the hand that rocks the cradle is shaky. As a result, pregnant women with substance use disorders often experience stigma: from families, child welfare and medical staff, and even addictions professionals. Some women do not learn that they are pregnant until they enter treatment, while others enter treatment because they are pregnant. They may be filled with shame and anxiety about the results of their substance use on their unborn child; nervous about losing custody upon delivery; sad about previous children they have lost to child welfare; or worried about how they can manage recovery, pregnancy, infant care and all of the other life issues they face. All of us who work with pregnant women know that they can be challenging to engage for these, and other reasons.

This course is designed to give providers information about pregnancy and substance use to increase provider knowledge and comfort level to better serve pregnant women. Week 1 will focus on the effects of substance use on maternal/fetal/neonatal health, including medication-assisted therapy. Week 2 will offer strategies to engage pregnant and post-partum substance-using women, including utilizing the Peer Recovery Model. Week 3 will provide an introduction to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), including recognizing if some of your clients who struggle with compliance may be prenatally affected by alcohol themselves. Week 4 will give you current research and strategies in the field of FASD that can assist you in improving client outcomes.

In addition to some short articles and resources, there will be a digital story of a Peer Recovery Worker, and a video clip of a birth mother of a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. For more information, please review the learning objectives below.


Enid Watson, M.Div. is the Director of Screening and Early Identification at the Institute for Health and Recovery in Massachusetts. Ms. Watson has worked within health care settings to provide training on gender-specific, culturally relevant behavioral health screening; brief intervention protocols; and linkage resources (SBIRT). Ms. Watson has provided local and national trainings on issues related to pregnancy and substance use for over a decade. She is the Project Director of the recently completed A Helping Hand: Mother to Mother (AHH), a federally-funded demonstration project to enhance identification of and services for substance exposed newborns, their mother and families, and to build collaborations with child welfare and Early Intervention programs. Ms. Watson is also the Massachusetts Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders State Coordinator and a Recovery Coach Trainer.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the potential effects of heroin, tobacco, and marijuana on fetal/child health and life-long development and the importance of the post-natal environment.
  • Design services that can be effectively used to engage pregnant and post-partum women who have been or are using substances.
  • Explain the possible effects of prenatal alcohol exposure.
  • Explain the benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment for mother and infant.
  • Adapt services to improve services for women who have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders or other developmental conditions.
  • Course Requirements

    This is a four-week course, beginning on May 28, 2012. Requirements are:

    • Required on-line reading (one hour per week)
    • Completion of pre and post test
    • Completion of weekly homework assignments (one hour per week)
    • Participation in the weekly course forum
    • Completion of an on-line course evaluation

    *Please note that there are no real time events associated with this course. Lessons will be posted on the class home page on Tuesday and responses are due the following Monday. With the exception of the first weeks lesson which will be posted Monday with the responses due the following Monday. Assignments can be accessed at the participant’s convenience.

    A full refund is available up until June 05, 2012 after which there will be no refunds.


    $60.00 Certification

    • This four-week course, which begins on May 28, 2012, has been approved by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) for 8 educational credits. It is being provided by the Brown Distance Learning program, which is accredited as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider (#000151).
    • This course is approved by the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB) for 8 Category 1 continuing education for Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADC’s). The CCB is an IC&RC affiliate.
    • The New York State OASAS does accept distance learning CEUs provided by institutions of higher learning for individuals pursuing or renewing a CASAC, CPP or CPS.
    • ATTC of New England DLP is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP ™) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. (provider # 6463) 4 clock hours will be provided for this event.

    *Combined certificates are available upon request.

    Certificates will be immediately printable from the course homepage to participants in the program for its duration who submit all required materials.

    Please contact your local certification board to verify reciprocity or acceptance of The ATTC of New England’s Distance Learning contact hours.

    To participate, you must have:

    • An E-mail address and the capacity to retrieve and send E-mail;
    • Access to World Wide Web (the following programs provide WWW access: Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Explorer)
    • Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher is the preferred browser for ATTC of New England DLP online courses
    • The ability to navigate the World Wide Web
    • A basic understanding of how to use a computer and send and receive email


    REGISTRATION DEADLINE: May 21, 2012 or when the course limit is reached.

    To register for this course please log into your account or create your account then log into your account and click the Enroll in a New Course link at the bottom of your account page (have your credit card ready). On the Enrollment page select ‘619 Pregnancy S.U. and FASD’ using the left pull down menu. Use the right pull down menu to select the type of certificate you wish to receive. Once both the course and certificate type have been selected click the Enroll and Pay button. Complete your payment by filling in all required fields and following all on screen prompts. Once your payment has been processed your registration has been concluded. To register using alternate forms of payment (check, money order, or invoice) contact [email protected] for registration processing. To view payment information please use the payment policies.

    For a list of current ATTC of New England Distance Learning courses, please go to the following site:


    Please Bookmark this site for future references. Course announcements will be made via the ATTC of New England Online Course Announcement Listserve 6-8 weeks prior to the start of each course. If you would like to be subscribed to this list, please contact the ATTC of New England DLP at [email protected]

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