Chapter 7 - Adverse Childhood Experiences
Training Home Page Recognizing Signs  Asking R U OK?
Depression Resources & Help Toolkit for Parents
Cutting/Self-Injury Adverse Experiences Drug Use Disorder


Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are a significant risk factor for substance use disorders and can impact prevention efforts.

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic events, including abuse and neglect. They may also include household dysfunction, such as witnessing domestic violence or growing up with family members who have substance use disorders. ACEs are strongly related to the development and prevalence of a wide range of health problems throughout a person's lifespan, including those associated with substance misuse.

ACEs include:

ACEs are a good example of the types of complex issues that the prevention workforce often faces. The negative effects of ACEs are felt throughout the nation and can affect people of all backgrounds. Successfully addressing their impact requires:

After reviewing the statistics, you can more easily understand why people have issues and contemplate suicide. When someone embraces the process of healing despite their ACEs, they acquire the hard-earned gift of life's wisdom to use in every area of their life. The recognition that they have lived through hard times drives them to develop deeper empathy, seek more intimacy, value life's sweeter moments, and treasure their relationships with others.

Link to protective Factors

You can help reduce ACEs and build resilience in our children and in parents. This site provides tools that incorporate five, evidence-based protective factors from Center for the Study of Social Policy, Strengthening Families. When a family is stronger, children can be emotionally healthy, not stressed. And, their brains will be ready to learn.