Increasing Treatment Success Through Understanding the Impact of Adverse Childhood Events

Pearl Berman, PhD

A lifetime of negative physical and psychological outcomes have been found to result from exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACES) including increased substance abuse, depression, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and premature mortality, in a graded fashion (Anda et al., 2006; Felitti et al., 1998). Additionally, individuals with higher ACES may achieve lower education levels, have difficulty maintaining employment, and be in generally poorer health (Dube, Cook, & Edwards, 2010). Adverse childhood events have been shown to carry 50% of the risk of developing problems with drug abuse, 65% of the risk of developing alcoholism and 78% of the risk for IV drug abuse. This presentation will provide an overview of the ACES research and cover strategies for enhancing treatment success through addressing ACES in treatment.

Objectives

  1. List at least three findings of the Adverse Childhood Experiences research literature.
  2. Discuss the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on their clients' present day victimization or perpetration experiences.
  3. Create treatment goals to reduce clients' substance abuse that integrate the impact of the clients' history of adverse childhood experiences.
Target Audience: Clinical personnel, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, educators. Intermediate level. CE credits offered = 1.5 contact hours