Adverse Childhood Experiences: Risk Factors for Substance Abuse and Mental Health

The speaker in the video, Dr. Robert Anda, emphasizes that most mental health problems and substance abuse issues are not genetically determined even if there is some genetic association. More important is the environment that people are subjected to when they are young. If we prevent adverse child experiences we will prevent most of what gets labeled mental illness. These injurious childhood experiences are very common.  That means we need to heal society. That means we need to heal the whole family. That means we need to heal ourselves.

The very brief video explains how Adverse Childhood Experiences effect the wellbeing of children and the adults they grow into:

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. In this video, Dr. Robert Anda, a co-Principal investigator of the study, describes the relationship of ACEs to many of the nation’s worst health and social problems, including substance abuse.

h/t ACES too High

There is more information on The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study here on Beyond Meds

For much more information on trauma and PTSD and how it effects mental and physical well-being see this page: Trauma infographic and links to more info too

A quote from this above linked page:

As a social worker and clinician working with “the seriously mentally ill” for many years, I never came upon someone who didn’t have fairly severe traumas in their histories. Yes, I can say those who were in that labeled segment had a solid 100% rate of trauma in their histories. Mental illness in large part is a reaction to trauma. It’s quite simple really. When we start listening to people’s stories of pain rather than numbing them out and effectively silencing them with neurotoxic drugs we will start healing them. Until then people will remain broken. One of the most basic needs for a wounded human being to heal is to be seen. Recognized. Validated. Yes.

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