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Helping Young Trauma Victims

Should one need further proof that the federal government and its bureaucracy are dangerously behind and out-of-touch with reality, take a look at the “revelation” presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week.

It turns out, childhood trauma — or Adverse Childhood Experiences, in CDC jargon — can lead to physical and mental health problems later in life. The CDC knows it’s true because it finally got around to conducting a study, which found those with a higher number of ACEs had significantly higher numbers of health and lifestyle issues such as obesity, heart disease, depression, and even drug or alcohol abuse, as adults.

Those results will come as no surprise to those working in health care and education here in our area.

West Virginia legislators have been aware of the problem for some time, specifically as it relates to children who suffer ACEs as a result of drug abuse by their parents. Earlier this year, lawmakers called for an increase in school personnel to deal with both the psychological and physical consequences of such damage. Money to pay for that will come almost solely out of the pockets of Mountain State taxpayers.

What a shame that it takes the federal government’s stamp of legitimacy on decades worth of observations by those actually working with at-risk kids before real change can take place.

While it is infuriating to realize we have become so dependent on the federal government telling us what is true, rather than using our own critical thinking and common sense, it is good to know the feds have caught up, at least on this one. Here’s hoping it truly will make a difference — possibly with some funding to help states such as ours where drug abuse has caused a spike in ACEs.

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