- Heart disease
- Chronic Lung disease
- Liver disease
- HIV and STDs
- Other risks for the leading causes of death
Many public health problems are actually personal solutions. People are treating their symptoms. For professionals to treat the symptoms, as well, it is like trying to put out a house fire by tending only to the smoke. For example, methamphetamine is a psychostimulant used to increase alertness, concentration, energy and can induce euphoria, enhance self-esteem and increase libido. Originally used as an anti-depressant, it is now commonly abused possibly due to being used to self-medicate underlying trauma. Treating only the addictive behavior will do little to heal the reasons why a person needs a destructive coping mechanism to function. Due to this, the ACE study encourages collaboration between physical and social sciences. Reductionist ideology separating biological, psychological and social aspects decreases professionals in every discipline’s ability to tackle public health issues. In his Executive Summary, Dr. Anda writes,
This vast array of problems that arise from ACEs calls for an integrated, rather than separate or categorical perspective of the origins of health and social problems throughout the lifespan. This approach to growing up with ACEs, and to the consequences of exposure to them, may unify and improve our understanding of many seemingly unrelated health and social problems that tend to be identified and treated as categorically separate issues in Western society. Development of more integrated approaches will likely contribute to more meaningful diagnoses, improved treatment of affected personas, and better integration of research priorities, preventive and social services and legal venues.
The ACE study assists criminal justice practitioners with the information to work collaboratively with other professionals in addressing situations in which children are being exposed to ACEs but also to assist adults struggling with past traumatic experiences presenting as criminal justice problems. One of the findings of the on-going study show the positive influence and reduction of public health problems when professionals simply acknowledge a person’s ACEs and allowing them to vocalize and, therefore, reduce the shame, secrecy and stigma of their experiences. With recognition, awareness and collaboration, first responders and others in the criminal justice field can assist with developing and applying practical solutions.
About The Author:
Michelle Perin has been a freelance writer since 2000. Her credits include Law Enforcement Technology, Police, Law and Order, Police Times, Beyond the Badge, Michigan State Trooper, Michigan Snowmobiler Magazine and Chief of Police. She writes two columns a month for Officer.com. Michelle worked for the Phoenix (AZ) Police Department for almost eight years. In December 2010, she earned her Master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Indiana State University. Currently, Michelle works as the Administrative Coordinator at Jasper Mountain a residential psychiatric facility for children. In her spare time, she enjoys being the fundraising coordinator for the Lane Area Ferret Shelter & Rescue, playing her bass, working on her young adult novel Desert Ice and raising her two sons in a small town in Oregon.