DOI: 10.5176/2251-3833_GHC17.06

Authors: Ellen Goleb, Gloria Carr


Abstract: Background: Exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is linked to neurobiological changes and adverse health outcomes that persist throughout adulthood. ACE victims frequently use drugs and alcohol as maladaptive coping strategies, developing substance abuse disorders. Therefore, this population require evidence-based interventions to treat addictions, yet research on this topic is limited. Aim: The aim of this integrative literature review is to examine the effect of evidence-based interventions on ACE victims’ substance abuse during adulthood. Methods: A methodical search of peer-reviewed literature was undertaken to identify relevant research. Seven databases (i.e. CINAHL, PsychINFO, Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed, Cochrane Library, Social Work Abstracts) were utilized, resulting in 34 articles that met inclusion criteria. Findings: Cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, community outreach, social services, and technological therapies offer effective interventions for substance abusers. Cognitive-behavioral therapy yields positive results; however, all offer drug abstinence and may be used jointly to facilitate recovery. Conclusion: Healthcare professionals must be aware of ACE victim’s unique needs when creating treatment plans. Nurse leaders must advocate patient-centered treatment to promote best outcomes. More research on ACE-specific substance abuse interventions is required to promote substance abstinence within pediatric and adult populations.

Keywords: Adverse childhood experiences; Childhood maltreatment; Substance abuse; Substance abuse disorders; Cognitive-behavioral therapy; Mindfulness-based therapy; Community outreach; Social Services; Technology

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