As we discussed in the last post, adverse childhood experiences are very common and destructive. An ACE score of 4 or more is considered to be a threshold at which negative outcomes increase exponentially. To illustrate this point further, consider these facts:
- Depression – With an ACE score of 4 or more, an individual is 460% more likely to be suffering from depression.
- Suicide – With 4 or more ACES, the risk of attempted suicide increased 1220%. With an ACE score of 7 or more, risk of suicide increases 3000%. 2/3 of all suicide attempts, 64% of adult suicide attempts, and 80% of child and adolescent suicide attempts have been shown to be directly related to adverse childhood experiences.
- Smoking – a very serious health risk behavior. With an ACE score of 6 or more, an individual is 250% more likely to be an adult smoker, which in turn contributes to an increase in negative health outcomes.
- Alcohol – In 2/3 of all individuals suffering from alcoholism, the addiction is directly attributed to childhood trauma. Teens who have issues with drugs and alcohol are 6-12x more likely to have been physically abused and 18-21% more likely to have been sexually abused. Also, 75% of all women is drug and alcohol treatment programs have been sexually abused at some point in their life.
- IV drug use – A boy with an ACE score of 6 or more, has a has a 4600% increased risk of becoming an IV drug user later in life. In 78% of women who use IV drugs, their drug use is directly attributed to childhood trauma.
- Rape – A women with an ACE score of 4 or more is 900% more likely to be a victim of rape.
- Domestic violence – A women with an ACE score of 4 or more is also 500% more likely to be a victim of domestic violence.
- Mortality – People with an ACE score of 6 or more have an average life expectancy of 60 compared to people with an ACE score of 0 who have an average life expectancy of 79. A high number of adverse childhood experiences effectively reduces life expectancy by almost 20 years. One reason for this is the increase in negative health outcomes associated with ACES due to suppression of the immune system and toxic environments.