Adverse Childhood Experiences

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur during childhood from the ages of 0-17. The three main categories of ACEs are abuse, neglect, and household challenges.

ACEs are associated with an increased risk of injury, STIs, maternal and child health problems, involvement in sex trafficking, and a wide range of other serious conditions such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, mental health problems, substance use disorders, and suicide (CDC).

Examples of ACEs

  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • Neglect

  • Incarcerated parents
  • Living in a home with substance misuse

  • Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • Living with someone who has a serious mental illness

  • Losing a parent through divorce, death, or abandonment

  • Bullying

  • Natural disasters

Why is preventing ACEs important?

  • By preventing ACEs, up to 1.9 million heart disease cases and 21 million depression cases could have been avoided.
  • Women with four or more ACEs are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing health issues that are leading contributors to pregnancy-related deaths.

  • A 10% reduction in ACEs in North America could equate to an annual savings of $56 billion.
  • At least 5 of the top 10 leading causes of death are associated with ACEs.

*Source: CDC
Adults in the U.S. who reported experiencing at least one ACE
*Source: CDC
*Source: TN Commission on Children and Youth

Why raise awareness about ACEs?

*Source: CDC

Building Resiliency in East Tennessee

Because of the lasting impact of ACEs on a child’s emotional and physical wellbeing, it is imperative to identify ACEs as early as possible. Metro Drug Coalition has developed a program for ACEs training and screening implementation in pediatric primary care & OB/GYN practices that will allow providers to assess and identify ACEs in their patients.

By identifying ACEs as early as possible, mitigation strategies can assist families in getting the services they need and provide support for parents who may be exhibiting the negative impact of their own history of traumatic events. Prevention education is key, and this approach will help reduce the transmission of trauma from parent to child.

Resources for Current & Expecting Parents

Learn about preventing ACEs by improving sleep, nutrition, & mental health, building supportive relationships, and more.

Healthcare Provider Resources

Get the ACEs screening protocol,  tips for administration, patient resources, and more.

Request Academic Detailing

Receive academic detailing on the integration of ACEs into your practice.