Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the Origins of Addiction

Vincent Felitti, MD

Addiction, ACEs

October 2011

Is addiction the core problem, or is it the marker for the core problem? Dr. Vincent Felitti from Kaiser Permanente, co-principal investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, challenges the conventional view that certain chemicals are intrinsically addicting. He presents evidence gleaned from the ongoing 17,000-person ACEs Study to illustrate that addiction is not a primary disease, but is an unconsciously attempted response to minimize the effects of abnormal life experiences, most commonly from the developmental years.

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