Indiana Alliance On Prenatal Substance Exposure, Jackie, Jackie Franks discussed on The Addicted Mind Podcast


She is the executive director of the Indiana alliance on prenatal substance exposure, Jackie is originally an Illinois native, has a master's in public health and almost a decade of experience in the field of health education, promotion, and community engagement. Jackie became involved with the Indiana alliance because she has always been passionate about seeing a need in her community and filling it. By educating people and informing them and you'll hear several times mentioned in the podcast that there is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy, we can prevent FASD, which is fetal alcohol syndrome disorder, and so many of the lifelong effects, including substance use, poor mental health outcomes, and incarceration that can be associated with it. And Jackie's going to talk about their recent launch with the San Diego university of brain. The first of its kind online FASD screening tool that assesses cognitive and behavioral features associated with FASD. So we're going to be talking about the importance of prevention and raising awareness about this issue. But before we start, if you are enjoying the addictive mind podcast, please rate and review us in iTunes. I really do appreciate it. And the reviews mean a lot to me. It's nice to know that the addictive mind is having a positive impact on so many people. So thank you all for taking the time to do that. And join our Facebook group, just go to Facebook and type in the ending to my podcast, click join, and continue the conversation online. All right. Stay tuned for this episode. All right, everyone. Welcome to the addicted mind podcast. My guest today is Jackie Franks. She is the executive director of the Indiana alliance on prenatal substance exposure. So we're going to be talking about fetal alcohol syndrome, fetal alcohol, spectrum disorder, the importance of looking at this issue and hopefully preventing this in the future. So let's just jump in, Jackie, tell me a little bit about you and this work that you're doing. And there's some really exciting stuff that you guys are doing as well as some research too that I want to get into as well. But introduce yourself. My name is Jackie Franks. I am the executive director like you said of Indiana alliance on prenatal substance exposure. I have been here for a grand total of 6 months, so I really hit the ground running, jumped in the deep end, I guess you can say, yeah, it's been it's been quite an adventure. So our organization is funded by Indiana's division of mental health and addiction. And so our focus is on prevention of prenatal substance exposure. I'm sure we'll get into all the nitty Gritty details in a little bit about the data and the statistics and what we see in Indiana, but that really is the key of preventing pregnant people specifically consuming alcohol, but all substances so that so that those babies are healthy and go on to lead healthy lives to set them up for the best success that we can. You asked why this work is important to me and I would have to say, I have worked with a lot of individuals throughout my career that were not diagnosed or not properly diagnosed or were misdiagnosed and not fully understanding, I guess the intricacies of a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and how that can affect a person's brain, how that affects their development and their cognitive abilities. That can be very frustrating for someone. So in addition to the prevention aspect, we also create a lot of awareness and help families really get connected to the resources that they need to get a diagnosis of that's something they're looking for or just to better understand how an individual with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder can just function in day to day life. Right, so it's not just the prevention piece, but also if people have been impacted and they're living their life and they don't realize maybe they're impacted by this. Alcohol is everywhere. And I think at certain times in our history, it was like, yeah, you should have a glass of wine if you're pregnant and you're not feeling well. Yeah, sure, do that. But we realize now that's just, don't do that. So that's like a cultural norm that's definitely a barrier to the work we do because back, you know, I'm thinking when my mom was pregnant with me, like drinking when pregnant was accepted or doctors would say you can have a certain amount of drinks. And I just, you know, just to be clear for everybody right off the bat, if you learn nothing else today, please remember this. There's no amount or type of alcohol that is safe to consume during pregnancy. Just absolutely not. And the research is a really, really clear on that. Yes. So let's jump in and talk about bringing this awareness and some of the statistics around this issue and why this is so important to have an organization that's dedicated just to this. Yeah, so one in 7 pregnant people report consuming alcohol during pregnancy, one in 7. That's pretty high, right? So 7 of those babies is exposed in the womb, essentially. The follow-up, the data we have after that is not as good because the diagnoses are hard to obtain. Specifically in Indiana, we don't have a lot of facilities that diagnose for FASD. So it goes largely undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. So a lot of times FASD will be diagnosed as ADHD. Some of the symptoms are very similar. We just had a press release running connecting the dots video it's available on our YouTube page. Talking about how FASD can be misconstrued into other conditions. Wow. I did not know that. I would assume that ADHD would be the result of this, but you're actually saying there we're seeing there are actually different in their separate. And they can get misdiagnosed. Yeah, very commonly. And I actually had a friend who told me her son was recently diagnosed. And I know this is, I just talked about this in our training. I did with providers. I know this is a difficult conversation to have with somebody, but from my mind from the kind of FASD perspective, you know, her son was recently diagnosed with ADHD, and I asked the difficult personal question and said, you know, I know this is personal question, but did you ever consume alcohol when you were pregnant? Even before you knew you're pregnant? Right. 45% of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, right? So a lot of these women are not realizing that they even could be pregnant and maybe still drinking. And so that is where some of the cases of FASD come from as well. And she said, well, you know, my pregnancy was unplanned. I was in college and, you know, yeah, I had some drinks before I knew I was pregnant. And I just planted the seed and said, this is something to consider if the ADHD treatment is not helping or you feel like it's missing something, consider talking to the doctor about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders because they can co occur, but they can also be misdiagnosed.

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