4. Adverse childhood experiences, substance use, and involvement with correctional services

Thursday, 24 November, 2022 - 16:50 to 18:20
Central square 1 (C1)


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) are events that can influence physical and psychological health and behaviour later in life. ACE’s include abuse experienced, behaviour of caregivers, and neglect. Many people involved with correctional services have a health and behavioural history suggesting ACEs..

This review examines the relationship between ACEs, substance use and involvement with correctional services, the international and intergenerational nature of the problem, and interventions. Material was drawn from papers and reports and personal experience obtained from working for many years with substance users and people involved with correctional services..

Problems related to ACEs were numerous including those related to substance use, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and legal/correctional issues. Most persons involved with corrections had multiple ACEs. Intergenerational trauma was reported in many countries, with resultant problems including multiple generations of substance use, suicide and incarceration. Few interventions were reported..

Some of the most damaged people in society have been exposed to multiple ACEs; many develop substance use problems and enter into care and institutions. The costs to individuals and society are enormous. Policies and programs, especially those addressing substance use problems, should include a focus on ACEs and their prevention and treatment. Promising interventions include those at the care-giver/community level and traumainformed harm reduction therapy


Presentation files

24 A2 1650 Richard Pates_v1.0.pdf1.85 MBDownload



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