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ACEs and Alcohol
Our health isn’t determined by genetics alone. Our choices and experiences—especially the experiences we have in childhood—can have a powerful impact on our long-term health. Abuse, neglect and other Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are linked to poorer health and risky behaviors such as substance abuse, and the more ACEs a person has, the higher that risk becomes.
In Wisconsin, a little more than half of all adults have at least one ACE. But among our state’s heavy and binge drinkers, the likelihood of having one ACE rises to more than three in five adults. Adults with one or more ACE are more likely to have been binge drinking in the past 30 days than adults with no ACEs.
Alcohol may also contribute to a multigenerational cycle of ACEs and their associated health risks within families and communities, as the children of substance abusers are exposed to heavy or binge drinking in the home.