GAMBIER — Childhood is not a time of joy and innocence for many, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are common across social and economic lines.
The film “Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope,” shown Wednesday as part of the two-day 2017 Knox Addiction Conference, discusses how those adverse experiences and prolonged childhood stress can literally alter brain development and have lifelong effects on one’s health and behavior.
Scientific studies have shown that ACEs, such as witnessing or being a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, are the roots of adult diseases such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, depression, substance abuse and addiction. The film highlighted the urgent need for early intervention, inter-generational strategies and multiple supportive systems to mitigate the effects of ACEs. It also emphasized that ACEs cause serious public health issues that communities must come together to address.