2021.08.17 | The Intersection of ACEs and Addiction: What if Our Biggest Challenges Start with the Smallest of Us?

Online Course Evaluation – How it works:

We are trying a new process for course evaluations using our online course system. We hope this will ultimately provide a smoother experience for you by allowing you to access your certificate immediately after completing the course evaluation. Here is how it works:

After the live meeting ends, you will receive an email with an evaluation access code.

  1. Log into this online course
  2. Under Course Content, click “Step 1: Access Evaluation” and follow the instructions to enter the code.
  3. After you enter the code, you will be able to continue to the next step of the course and complete the evaluation.
  4. After you submit the evaluation, click Mark Complete and you will be able to download or print your certificate. The certificate will also be emailed to you as a PDF.

Course Description

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic or stressful experiences, such as child maltreatment or household dysfunction, that occur during childhood or adolescence. ACEs can harm a child’s brain and its development, which can lead to a number of health and social problems. Children exposed to adverse experiences are more likely to have developmental delays as young children, engage in risky behaviors as youth (e.g. use drugs or alcohol); experience failure in school or work; be depressed, anxious, or even suicidal; and have a major correlation with the development of substance use disorders

Armed with powerful new insights into how toxic stress changes the physiology of early brain development and leads to a higher risk for substance use disorders, we can begin to find sustainable solutions by providing compassionate care and empowering resilient, self-healing communities. Science also shows that resilience and positive childhood experiences (PCEs) influence health and well-being. The good news is that resilience, which includes positive connections, can be learned and cultivated at any age.

This training will provide an introductory overview of the science of stress, how ACEs greatly increase the risk for substance misuse, explore National and Maine State data that highlight risk factors, and finally discuss how to build resilience and demonstrate the importance of trauma-informed care and strategies to foster healing in addressing the overdose crisis. This approach reduces barriers to improve health equity and allows people to meet people who use where they are in their process of recovery.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Describe brain development and the impact of toxic stress.
  2. Identify the 10 ACEs in childhood and summarize the connection between ACEs and substance misuse and SUDs.
  3. Discuss how harm-reduction strategies are a trauma-informed approach.
  4. Explain the capacity of resilience and list 3 resilient strategies.