You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Harm Reduction’ category.

2015 Conference

The BC Association of Pregnancy Outreach Programs (BCAPOP) is made up of Pregnancy Outreach Programs from across British Columbia.

Pregnancy Outreach Programs provide free prenatal and early parenting support to women who experience health or lifestyle challenges during pregnancy, birth and the transition to parenting. The BCAPOP supports POPs in their work to enhance maternal and infant health for the long-term benefit of communities. Many of the programs work with women who are at high risk of having a child with FASD.

The 19th Annual BCAPOP Conference and Annual General Meeting will be held October 27-29, 2015 in Richmond, BC. The theme of this year’s conference is “Embracing Diversity and Celebrating Inclusion.” Keynote speakers include Diane Malbin who will be talking about “FASD — Normalizing Discomfort and Creating Comfort” and Jessica Ball who will discuss “Ensuring Cultural Safety in Services for Indigenous Children and Families.

Learn more about the conference here.

Edmonton inner-city program - Aboriginal - CBC'

The Healthy, Empowered and Resilient (H.E.R.) Pregnancy Program in Edmonton, Alberta uses professional staff and peer support workers to reach at-risk pregnant and parenting women in inner city Edmonton. The program, developed by Streetworks, supports street-involved women to access healthcare services before and throughout their pregnancy and address issues such as addiction, poverty and family violence.

CBC News featured the H.E.R. Pregnancy Program last week in the article “Pregnant aboriginal women find ‘world of difference’ in Edmonton inner-city program” (July 27, 2015). Nikki Wiart interviewed staff and clients of the program and learned about the importance of outreach, peer support, and the impact of early engagement with services on pregnancy and parenting outcomes.

90% of the program’s clients are Aboriginal while 50% of the staff is Aboriginal. Morgan Chalifoux, a pregnancy support worker, with the program describes how her personal experiences as a teen mother and living on the streets can make a difference: “”Honestly, if I wasn’t aboriginal, if I didn’t have the experience, if I didn’t use when I was on the street, if I didn’t understand what it was like to have my son threatened to be taken away from me … I wouldn’t be able to have the success that I have now with the clients.”

The program uses a harm reduction approach to addressing alcohol and other substance use during pregnancy. An evaluation of the program found that:

  • 76% of 139 pregnant women who connected with the program reported substance use, typically alcohol (32%), marijuana, and other drugs
  • While connected with the program, women reported elimination of use (40%), safer use (37%), and reduction of substance use (26%) at least once during their pregnancy with the program

The Alberta government has committed to funding the program for another three years as well as developing similar programs in Red Deer and Calgary.

For more on the H.E.R. Pregnancy Program, see earlier posts:

projectchoices_infographic_en

Project CHOICES is a program in Winnipeg, Manitoba, that works with girls and women of any age who are not currently pregnant, drink alcohol, and are sexually active. The goal of the program is to reduce the risk of an alcohol-exposed pregnancy through choosing healthy behaviours around alcohol and birth control use.

This infographic summarizes changes for participants three months after completing the program.

Project CHOICES is based on motivational interviewing which is a counseling approach that is respectful, non-judgmental and client-centred. Motivational interviewing allows health care providers and clients to explore possible areas of change, discuss strategies that make sense for the client and their life circumstances, and provides encouragement and support.

The program considers three different routes to reducing the risk of an alcohol-exposed pregnancy: (1) reducing alcohol use (2) using effective contraception (3) reducing alcohol use and using effective contraception.

Learn more about the evaluation from Healthy Child Manitoba. Check out the program website to learn more about the program, how to make a referral, and for resources on alcohol, pregnancy and birth control.

word on the street

cbc mothering project

Manito Ikwe Kagiikwe (The Mothering Project), located at Mount Carmel Clinic in Winnipeg’s North End, provides prenatal care, parenting and child development support, group programming, advocacy, and addiction support for vulnerable pregnant women and new mothers.

CBC News interviewed Stephanie Wesley and Margaret Bryans about the program earlier this week. Bryans, a nurse and program manager at Manito Ikwe Kagiikwe, discusses the successes of the program since it first opened two years ago. The article focuses on the importance of supportive relationships and the value of a ‘focus on kindness’: “Women who are pregnant, who are using drugs and alcohol are one of the most stigmatized groups in our community.” (The Mothering Project aims to break cycle of addiction, CBC News, April 28, 2015).

MC_WebBanner_Mom

The program is a wonderful example of a integrated and holistic pregnancy program for women with addiction and related concerns. The program is based on principles of harm reduction. (Learn more about harm reduction and similar programs in this booklet, Harm Reduction and Pregnancy: Community-based Approaches to Prenatal Substance Use in Western Canada).

Since the program opened two years ago, 49 women have participated. Early evaluation findings show that, at the beginning of the program, 100% of women were actively using substances, 97% had never completed a substance use treatment program and 56% did not have a prenatal health care provider. Over the course of the program, 36% stopped using alcohol and drugs, 47% reduced their use, 39% attended an addiction treatment facility and 100% accessed prenatal care. Over half of mothers have been able to take their babies home with them from the hospital. Check out the infographic below for more.

MP-INFOGRAPH-PRINT-FIN-NB_Page_1
MP-INFOGRAPH-PRINT-FIN-NB_Page_2

Cover Mother-Child-Study_Report_2014

Mothercraft’s Breaking the Cycle (BTC) in Toronto is one of Canada’s first prevention and early intervention programs for pregnant women and mothers who are substance-involved and their young children.

The program’s goal is to reduce risk and enhance the development of substance-exposed children by addressing maternal substance use problems and the mother-child relationship.

Historically, treatments for substance use tended to minimize gender roles and, in particular, mothering relationships. Contemporary integrated treatments for substance use often emphasize gender-specific issues within the treatment setting, such as trauma (historical and/or present, including domestic violence), depression and other mental health concerns, and adoption of harm reduction goals with respect to substance use. Contemporary integrated treatments have also evolved to acknowledge the importance of the mothering role for women.

Profile of BTC families

This evaluation report described the findings of the Mother-Child Study. The study evaluated and compared the Breaking the Cycle program model of relationship-focused service delivery and its effects on mothers and children with a group of similar women who received a more standard contemporary integrated treatment for substance use issues.

The findings of the Mother-Child Study highlight the critical role of relational-focused interventions in supporting change for substance-involved mothers and their children.

Program features that made a difference for women’s outcomes included:

  • Supporting women to learn about relationships in a number of different ways
  • Making the focus on relationships an integral part of substance use treatment
  • Recognizing that increased relationship capacity with their children enriches the lives of women

Program features that made a difference for children’s outcomes included:

  • Providing integrated early intervention programs
  • Providing comprehensive, multimethod assessments
  • Prioritizing early intervention services which support the mother-child relationship

Importantly, the study found that children, even those exposed to substances during pregnancy, do better when mothers have relationship-focused intervention

Read the report, take a look at summary fact sheets and learn more about the Breaking the Cycle program at www.mothercraft.ca.

fact sheet 9

Pages from HR and Preg Booklet_web

This 16-page booklet provides a short introduction to harm reduction approaches during pregnancy.

Harm Reduction refers to policies, programs and practices that aim to reduce the negative health, social and economic consequences that may ensue from the use of legal and illegal psychoactive drugs, without necessarily reducing drug use.

Harm reduction  can be an important approach to FASD prevention for women who struggle with addiction and related concerns and who are often at highest risk for having a child with FASD.

The booklet gives an overview of evidence-based harm reduction approaches during pregnancy and provides concrete examples from integrated maternity programs in Western Canada that work with women with substance use concerns.

Programs profiled include: Sheway in Vancouver, Maxxine Wright Place in Surrey, HerWay Home in Victoria, H.E.R. Pregnancy Program in Edmonton and Manito Ikwe Kagiikwe (The Mothering Project) in Winnipeg.

Other topics discussed include the role of housing, peer support, rooming-in, methadone and buprenorphine use during pregnancy, and outreach.

Download Harm Reduction and Pregnancy: Community-based Approaches to Prenatal Substance Use in Western Canada from the BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health website.

AHRC

The 13th Annual Alberta Harm Reduction Conference will be held June 2-3, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta. This year’s conference will feature a one-day session on June 1st focusing on pregnancy, drug use, and policy.

This year, the conference is being co-hosted by Streetworks and AAWEAR (Alberta Addicts who Educate and Advocate Responsibly), the provincial coalition of people who use drugs. Attendees will include frontline workers, people (who admit to) using substances, professionals, researchers, policy makers, students and folks who are interested in the issues surrounding substance use and sex work. The presenters represent those involved in research, policy and practice.

The conference will address HIV and Hepatitis C, overdose prevention, supervised consumption, criminalization/legalization of substances, sex work laws, racism and incarceration, access to heroin and methadone, pregnancy and drug use, education of our youth, marijuana legalization in the US, managed alcohol programs and many others.

Harm reduction is an important approach to addressing alcohol use during pregnancy for women with addiction concerns and who are at highest risk of having a child born with FASD.

Learn more about the conference here.

rha

In 2012, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health invested $1.2 million to enhance and expand services for high-risk pregnant women. These funds were used to develop three FASD prevention projects in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert.

Each of the projects collaborated with other community agencies and service delivery partners to plan and/or help deliver the program. As a result, each of the three programs were a combination of new programming and enhancement of existing services.

  • The Raising Hope Moving Families Forward is a new program that was established in 2013 by Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region.
  • The Intensive FASD Prevention Program (IFASDPP) started in early spring 2013 in the Saskatoon Health Region.
  • Prince Albert Parkland Health Region Harm Reduction Initiative, a partnership between the Health Region and Family Futures, a community-based organization, received funds in spring 2012.

The projects brought together a range of services including: active outreach, prenatal and postnatal care, social support, addictions and mental health services, early childhood development, and paediatric rehabilitative therapies. All services were provided in a central location that was accessible to the group of women the project was intending to serve.

Currently, the projects serve about 126 women, of whom a strong majority are of First Nations descent.

A recent evaluation of this initiative looked at a range of outcomes in each community. The data from all of the program sites revealed that a number of participants from each program had:

  • reduced their substance use;
  • given birth to infants with no alcohol use exposure; and
  • had their children return to their care.

Read the evaluation report here.

Earlier this year, the Saskatchewan government announced increased funding to support people with disabilities through enhancements to programs and services. This includes $4.2 million for intensive Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) prevention programming and community supports.

For more on FASD prevention in Saskatchewan, see earlier posts:

For more on integrated “one-stop shop” programs for high-risk pregnant women, see earlier posts:

 

HerWay Home in Victoria, BC is organizing a community conference and networking event for September 29, 2014.

HerWay Home is a child-focused, women-centred, family-oriented drop-in and outreach program for pregnant women and new moms with substance use challenges and their children (learn more in the video above).

When: Monday September 29, 2014

Where:  DaVinci Centre, 195 Bay Street, Victoria

Time:  09:00 – 4:00

Cost: Free to those attendees from Vancouver Island. A minimal charge of $50 to attendees from off the island.

This one-day workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to learn more about the issue of substance use during pregnancy and early parenting and hear from interdisciplinary service providers working in Victoria and other communities in integrated maternity care programs.

Speakers will include program participants, Betty Poag (public health nurse, Vancouver Island Health), Ron Abrahams (Sheway and Fir Square), Nancy Poole (BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health), Yvette Ringhamcowan  (Island Health Cultural Safety Facilitator) and more!

View the conference brochure here.

stockvault-mother-and-daughter116584

The Parent–Child Assistance Program (PCAP) began in 1991 at the University of Washington. It is an intensive three-year one-on-one mentoring program for women at high risk of having a child born with FASD.

The primary aim of the program is to prevent future alcohol and drug exposed pregnancies by encouraging the use of effective contraceptive use, by helping women abstain from or decrease their use of alcohol and drugs and by addressing the range of factors that contribute to women’s substance use, including poverty, isolation, and lack of parenting support. The program uses a home visiting/case management approach and is based on principles of harm reduction.

The model has been  replicated and evaluated across North America and has been found to be effective in a number of ways.

A recent study conducted an economic evaluation of the PCAP program in Alberta.  Between 2008 and 2011,  366 women participated in 25 P-CAP programs across the province.

The evaluation estimated that the program prevented approximately 31 (range 20–43) cases of FASD among the 366 clients in a 3-year period which resulted in a cost-benefit of approximately $22 million.

For more on the Parent-Child Assistance Program in Canada, see earlier posts:

References

Rasmussen, C., Kully-Martens, K., Denys, K., et al. (2012). The effectiveness of a community-based intervention program for women at-risk for giving birth to a child with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Community Mental Health Journal, 48, 12–21.

Thanh, N.X., Jonsson, E., Moffat, J., Dennett, L., Chuck, A.W., and Birchard, S. (2014).  An Economic Evaluation of the Parent-Child Assistance Program for Preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Alberta, Canada. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research.

 

 

 

Overview: Four Levels of FASD Prevention

Information Sheet: What Men Can Do To Prevent FASD

Archives

Categories