Bernie Segal, PhD
Gabriel Garcia, MA, MPH
Melodie Fair, MEd
In the state of Alaska, prevention efforts have long been considered an important part of combating substance abuse and the resulting problems of fetal alcohol exposure. A number of research and demonstration projects have been implemented to begin addressing these problems. Community and state sponsored programs have emerged, and schools in many localities have instituted standardized drug prevention programs in their districts. However, many of these programs have functioned independently, resulting in an uncoordinated approach to reducing the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD) in Alaska. Many programs have not benefited from a systematic, comprehensive evaluation, thereby precluding determination of their effectiveness.
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), through its Office of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, established a working plan to address FAS and ARBD in the state of Alaska with funding from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) federal Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP). This funding includes $5.8 million per year for five years.
This project involved an integrated plan directed toward statewide prevention of FAS and ARBD. The main purpose of this plan was to propose a multifaceted evaluation system to assess the efficacy of the statewide fetal alcohol syndrome prevention efforts.
The Institute for Health Studies was one of the UAA evaluation team members, and was responsible for evaluating all statewide and community activities directed toward prevention of FAS and other alcohol-related birth defects.
The final FAS report is available in pdf format: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Evaluation Team Report (944 KB, pdf)