Adverse Childhood Events are an unknown topic to many. Many people may have had an Adverse Childhood Event and may not know they had one until they know what it means. It is important to note that ACEs are traumatic childhood events. Examples of these are being abused, neglected, parents becoming separated, a member of the household using drugs or alcohol, a family member going to jail and so much more. Without a doubt, the fact that many people have a high ACE score is a large and growing public health crisis. According to the TedTalk by Nadine Burke Harris, having a high ACE score has been linked to certain diseases and cancers (Harris, 2015) The occurrence of multiple ACEs transforms a persons DNA and alters the function of essential everyday body systems. There has been an increased risk for death as a result from childhood trauma because of being diagnosed with certain diseases that stemmed from it. The public should be educated on ACE. When people have experienced an ACE, they are way more likely to engage in health hurting activities such as smoking. As a result of that, they are way more likely to get lung cancer. If the public were educated on childhood trauma and how to cope with it, the use of substances would decrease.
Films Media Group. (2015). TedTalks: Nadine Burke Harris’s how childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime. Films On Demand. https://fod.infobase.com/PortalPlaylists.aspx?wID=18566&xtid=114600.
The ACE score demonstrates the accumulation of negative aspects that are impacting the social and emotional development of children’s mind and organs. These barriers encountered open ways to disability, poor mental health status, unable to succeed in public or in life. All of these problems end up with higher chance to early mortality.
According to Natalie Powell (2019) At the congressional hearing on July 11, hearing, witness Debra Houry, MD, MPH spoke on behalf of the CDC and cited adverse childhood experiences as a major source of trauma:
“the estimated U.S. population economic burden of child maltreatment, major contributors to childhood trauma and ACEs, based on 2015 data was $428 billion, but this number may underestimate the total cost of ACEs because it is focused solely on child maltreatment. This estimate accounts for
- increased health care costs,
- public spending for child protective services and special education,
- increased criminal justice spending,
- as well as reduced quality of life for survivors and
- life lost for fatal victims,” (Houry, 2019).
Furthermore, the estimated lifetime costs for survivors of child maltreatment was $830,928 per case, and for fatal cases was $16.6 million per case (Houry, 2019).”
Houry, D. (2019). Written Testimony House Committee on Oversight & Reform. July 11th, 2019. Statement of Debra Houry, M.D., MPH Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Department of Health and Human Services.
Natalie Powell (2019). Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Public Health Crisis That is Treatable and Preventable. https://casatondemand.org/2019/08/21/3930/