APA 18th Annual Meeting – ND-PAE: Society’s Preventable Mental Health Epidemic

On May 20th, Dr. Susan Rich presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s 168th Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada. The Symposium was entitled Neurodevelopmental Disorder Associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: Society Preventable Mental Health Epidemic. Her presentation, The Hidden Cost of ND-PAE, focused on the history of ND-PAE, the damaging effects of this disorder, and her treatment method for those diagnosed.

She was followed by Dr. Scott Parnell, with his presentation entitled: Exposure to Ethanol During Early Gestation. Here, Dr. Parnell focused on the biological damages that happen to fetuses neurodevelopmentally during their gestation development, honing in on his own studies completed with mice.

Following Dr. Parnell was BSTS Intern Sydnie Butin, who presented Better Safe than Sorry: A Tipping Point. Sydnie focused on our campaign, and the dangers associated with college students drinking at binge rates.

The symposium closed with a panel discussion with Bonnie Buxton, Brian Philcox, and BSTS Intern Lauren Grenier. Bonnie, author of Damaged Angels, spoke about her experience raising an adopted daughter with ND-PAE. Brian spoke in a larger scope about FASworld, Bonnie and Brian’s non-profit to raise awareness and support for ND-PAE. Finally, Lauren spoke on her own experience interning at a Residential Treatment Center, and how recently learning about this epidemic has shaped her understanding of services in place for these individuals.

To view this symposium, please visit the link below. 


My Baby’s Breath Program – A Treatment Plan for Expectant Alcoholic Mothers

As an Expectant Mother, your Blood Alcohol Content is the Same as your Baby’s.

My Baby’s Breath Program is a self-administered breathalyzer program that is implemented for pregnant women who are using alcohol. It is a program that provides monitored support including incentives to help women abstain from alcohol while they are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

The breathalyzer works on the notion that the alcohol content of the mother is the same for the fetus while she is pregnant. A professional contact or other trusted, responsible adult determines the number of tests given per day to the mother, and daily and monthly reports are printed out to record the mother’s progress during pregnancy.

It was developed by Healthy Brains for Children, a nonprofit founded by Jody Allen Crowe, author of The Fatal Link and founder of Think Before Your Drink Program, which created the Pregnancy Test Dispensers to be placed in bars. Read more about My Baby’s Breath Program at this website:


BSTS Talk Show – FASD Awareness Day

What’s the best way to promote awareness about ND-PAE?

Join us as the BSTS interns discuss last years FASD Awareness Day, where they kicked of the condom campaign by passing out condom bookmarks at the Barking Dog Bar in Bethesda, MD. This was to promote awareness of the dangers of prenatal aochol exposure even prior to pregnancy recognition.

If you are planning a pregnancy, avoid alcohol, and if you are drinking alcohol, avoid pregnancy!!

BSTS Talk Show: APA Conference

On May 20th Dr. Rich, Dr. Parnell and intern Sydnie Butin presented at the 168th APA Annual Meeting. Intern Lauren Grenier, Brian Philcox and Bonnie Buxton presented on the panel discussion. The Better Safe than Sorry presentation by Sydnie Butin included how this project got started. Our main focus is prevention, this disorder is 100% preventable. She discussed how high school drinking habits are the starting point of later college and adult life drinking habits. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey and Young Risk Behavior Survey from 2011 show that 45% of 9th graders binge drink, 50% of 10th graders binge drink, 58% of 11th graders binge drink, and 62% of 12th graders binge drink. One binge drink is considered to be 4-5 drinks in one sitting. If this many people binge drink at such a young age, it is less likely for them to decrease or change their drinking habits, as they get older.

Girls have the belief that they can “keep up with the boys” when they drink but this is false. Women have half the alcohol dehydrogenase enzymes than men do. So the blood alcohol concentration gets much higher, much faster. Alcohol has a similar half-life in breast milk as it does in blood. Therefore it is not only necessary to stay away from alcohol during the preconception period and the pregnancy period, but women should also stay away from alcohol while they are breast-feeding. We believe that women should avoid alcohol altogether rather than trying to predict when the alcohol is going to be metabolized. Would you put alcohol in your baby’s bottle? No. There is no safe amount of alcohol for a baby, therefore women should stay away from it at all times during preconception, pregnancy, and lactation.

Excessive alcohol use can lead to impaired judgment, which can lead to unprotected sex and possible pregnancy. Keeping in mind the time difference between conception and pregnancy recognition, if you are one of those people who drinks to black out, your baby could get the full effect of the alcohol and receive irreversible brain damage.

To find out more about the APA Conference, watch our new BSTS talk show here:

Growing Recognition of Prevalence of Disorders Brought on by Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

Psychiatric News – American Psychiatric Association News
Just how prevalent is this epidemic?

In a study on the prevalence of the ND-PAE epidemic, Carl Bell, M.D., found that nearly 40% of patients seeking mental health care in Chicago had profiles consistent with ND-PAE, or Neurodevelopmental Disorder associated with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. This was found in a study with 611 adult and child psychiatric patients at the Family Medicine Clinic at Jackson Park Hospital, located in Chicago’s South Side.

Carl Bell attended our symposium that was given at the 2015 APA Conference in Toronto, Canada on May 18th 2015. At this symposium, Dr. Susan D. Rich, MD, MPH, was joined by Scott Parnell, MD, and Sydnie Butin, a fellow BSTS intern, as they presented on the various levels of the ND-PAE epidemic. Their presentations were followed by a panel in which Bonnie Buxton, author of Damaged Angels, and her husband Brian Philcox spoke about raising their adopted daughter with ND-PAE, and Lauren Grenier, a fellow BSTS intern, spoke about her time at a three-month stint in a Residential Treatment Center and her new perspective on ND-PAE.

To find out more about Carl Bell’s findings and the APA conference: read the article here.