Researchers spotlight hole in efficient psychological well being and substance use therapy choices for individuals with FASD

This week, a workforce of researchers and companions revealed findings that present a startling hole within the proof about therapy for psychological well being and substance use challenges for individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Dysfunction (FASD).

Researchers highlight gap in effective mental health and substance use treatment options for people with FASD

FASD is a lifelong incapacity impacting the mind and physique of individuals uncovered to alcohol within the womb. Psychological well being and substance use wants are an essential consideration on this inhabitants, as over 90% of individuals with FASD are estimated to expertise challenges with psychological well being, and an estimated 35-55% of adolescents and adults expertise problematic substance use.

The workforce – made up of researchers and companions from the Canada FASD Analysis Community (CanFASD) – reviewed literature on psychological well being and substance use remedies for individuals with FASD. Of greater than 10,000 titles reviewed, they discovered solely three research the place researchers studied the impacts of interventions straight concentrating on the psychological well being or substance use wants of individuals with FASD.

Not one of the research recognized within the assessment explored find out how to finest assist individuals with FASD who’re experiencing extreme psychological sickness or acute psychological well being or addictions crises, and only a few had been designed for adolescents or adults. As a substitute, many of the research had been designed to construct useful abilities amongst youngsters with FASD, with improved psychological well being as an oblique by-product of therapy.

“This examine reveals an enormous hole in evidence-based follow for supporting psychological well being and substance use wants of individuals with FASD,” says Dr. Katherine Flannigan, one of many examine authors. “With out strong knowledge about what remedies work, or how conventional remedies could also be modified, we actually can’t say how finest to assist this group in these areas.”

Though it’s potential that clinicians and different service suppliers on the front-lines are offering efficient psychological well being and substance use helps for individuals with FASD, there may be subsequent to no analysis revealed that appears into the affect of those efforts.

This analysis offers us an amazing start line to construct upon sooner or later, however we have to know extra about find out how to handle the rapid challenges that individuals with FASD face in psychological well being and substance use as we speak.”

Dr. Katherine Flannigan, Examine writer

The hope is with extra understanding will come extra motion – motion that may enhance FASD prevention, intervention, and prognosis in Canada.”

Audrey McFarlane, CanFASD Govt Director


Journal reference:

Flannigan, Ok., et al. (2020) A Systematic Assessment of Interventions to Enhance Psychological Well being and Substance Use Outcomes for People with Prenatal Alcohol Publicity and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Dysfunction. Alcoholism: Scientific & Experimental Analysis.

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