How Adverse Childhood Experiences Cost $1.33 Trillion a Year (

Research takes a deep dive into large-scale impact of harm to children.

The original groundbreaking Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults (1998) led to an expanding awareness of the suffering, cost and burden illness wreaked by childhood abuse and neglect.

ACEs represents a chronic epidemic which hurts the entire planet. Not only that, ACEs are perpetrated by our species against itself, as adults both permit and directly enact abuse and neglect on children. Those children of course grow up to be shaped by their developmental experiences, and so the cycle repeats.

The state of the planet and our culture has itself become an adverse childhood experience. The environment we have created is psychologically and physically toxic to us. And we keep it going as-is.

Because much of the research on ACEs has been a variety of smaller and larger studies looking at different outcomes across many different populations, a large-scale consolidation of the existing data is in order. To accomplish this, as reported recently in The Lancet, Public Health, researchers Bellis, Hughes, Ford, Rodrigues, Sethi, and Passmore (2019) from the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies from Europe and the USA looking at ACEs outcome data.

The studies ranged in size from 1,500 to 978,647 people, and two looked were population studies following individual from birth. The ACEs reviewed included child emotional, physical and sexual abuse, exposure to violence in the home, break up of the family, and drug abuse, mental illness or crime within the household. The full ACEs scale is at the end of this piece, and may be triggering.

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If 50 Billion of that 105 billion per year was used on protecting the parent - infant relationship and promoting and protecting parenting abilities, making sure every infant had a secure attachment and then a secure base to explore as an older toddler and child, the cost savings would increase faster than any other intervention known to man. 

But there is a benefit in the 20 percent or so of the people at the bottom of the social hierarchy in America... they fill prison beds, and take up space in Community Mental Health centers .......after doing a DNA Buccal swab on that treatment resistant patient..... to determine which psychotropic or psychotropic combo will treat his generational disorganized attachment and vigilant/hyper-compliant secure base distortion... her dissociation becomes the dissociation for the next generation and provides so many of us with our jobs in counseling, early interventions and other social services and even in medicine - where physicians maintain job security treating the Type II DM, CAD, autoimmune disorders, “behavioral health” concerns etc not to mention the suicide attempts, addictions and associated services, the self help courses and books, the weight loss programs.  There is too much for too many to lose to be serious about preventing childhood trauma,  maybe it’s why we’ve done so little for so long when we know so much? 

To seriously prevent ACEs,  Protect Babies and heal Mothers, support Fathers and communities that protect Families. Get to know your neighbors and LOVE really LOVE one another. 

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