K. White: We can make a difference

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In response to the Jan. 13 editorial recognizing that “something at the core is causing the U.S.” to fare so poorly in nine major health areas, I am compelled to share information on Adverse Childhood Experiences.

ACEs have been identified by Dr. Vincent Filetti as a contributor to all of those poor health outcomes. Having started out treating obesity, when he noticed that his patients weren’t keeping the weight off, Filetti started asking questions. What he discovered is the fact that many people who were victims of ACEs use any means they can to feel better and feel safe. In many people, it takes the form of overeating, using drugs, or smoking, which leads to chronic health problems.

Unfortunately, our culture chooses to ignore the fact that 28 percent of the early childhood population experiences physical abuse and 22 percent are sexually abused. These are two of the 10 ACEs that Filetti has identified.

Sadly, the time and cost of prevention or treatment is not a priority; our society has chosen to medicate individuals and wonder why the health problems are so prevalent.

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It is time to bring these facts to light and have community conversations that create commitments to support expectant families and those with young children, before they experience ACEs.

We can make a difference.

Karen White, Lewiston, ACEs project coordinator

Community Collaborative for Children, Youth and Families

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