There is no known safe amount of alcohol or drugs for use during pregnancy, tobacco, marijuana vitamins/supplements, and even medications can have long lasting effects on a developing baby. 


Substance use during pregnancy is a complex issue. Confidential treatment and support is available for women and their families.  State and Federal Law both address prenatal substance exposure as a key issue for giving babies the healthiest start possible.  We prioritize prevention, identification, and treatment - for women and their babies. 

Looking for more information, resources, or support? Visit Smart Choices Safe Kids or view additional information on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, Marijuana Use During Pregnancy, & Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Save the Date - Substance Exposed Newborns Summit - November 2, 2017 at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver - Details Coming Soon!


Educational Offerings

Interventions & Educational Considerations for Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Interventions & Educational Considerations for Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders is a full day training presented by Eileen Bisgard, JD, Founder of NOFAS Colorado & Heather Hotchkiss, Brain Injury Specialist with the Colorado Department of Education. Learn more...

Impacts & Implications of Prenatal Substance Exposure

Offered through the Colorado Child Welfare Training System, Impacts & Implications of Prenatal Substance Exposure is a one day course designed to increase understanding of the impacts of prenatal exposure to substances on a fetus, an infant, a child, and an adolescent. Learn more... 

Serving Families Impacted by Prenatal Substance Exposure: Overview & Recommendations

This course can be offered in either 2 or 4 hours and is designed for professionals interested in learning more about the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol or other drugs, the short and long term concerns of parental substance use and abuse, and recommendations for supporting children and families affected by this issue.


Legislative Priority Area

In 2012, the SEN Steering Committee with support from the Substance Abuse Trend and Response Task Force worked with Representative Summers and Senator Aguilar to pass House Bill 12-1100. This bill prohibits information obtained during a drug screen or test performed during a determination of pregnancy or as part of prenatal care for a pregnant woman from being admissible in criminal proceedings. Meaning a pregnant women can disclose her substance use to her prenatal care provider without fear of being criminally prosecuted. When a woman receives both prenatal care and substance abuse treatment during pregnancy, the health outcomes for both her and her baby drastically improve.

Illuminate Colorado, and members of the Substance Exposed Newborns Steering Committee, are hoping to pass complementary legislation on this issue in the future to expand access to treatment without fear of criminal prosecution for women that are immediately postpartum. The time period immediately after birth, when a baby has tested positive for a substance and the child protection system is becoming involved, is a point of high motivation for a woman with a substance use disorder to seek treatment and support. Currently, funding streams for women to access certain kinds of substance use treatment, are limited to women that are identified before the baby is born, though the services extend through the baby's first birthday. The SEN Committee is working to allow women within 30 days after giving birth to qualify for these federal funding streams to access needed substance use treatment and support services.

Colorado Substance Exposed Newborns Steering Committee

The Colorado SEN Steering Committee was established in 2008, as a subcommittee of the Colorado Substance Abuse Trend and Response Task Force.

The Coalition meets monthly on the last Thursday of the month. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Emily White.

Current Priorities of the SEN Steering Committee include:

  • Training for Parents & Professionals
  • Coordinating FASD Awareness Month Activities
  • Coordinating the SEN Best Practice Hospital Learning Collaborative
  • Promoting Increased Screening, Brief Intervention, & Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for Women & Substance Use
  • Increasing Utilization of the FASD Bench Guide for Family & Juvenile Court Judges


Emily White, Project Coordinator