CSHCR 2(STA): Urging Governor Bill Walker to join with the Alaska State Legislature to address the presence of adverse childhood experiences and childhood trauma as factors for many societal issues by establishing a statewide policy, supporting evidence-based programs, and funding research for statewide solutions.
00 CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 2(STA) 01 Urging Governor Bill Walker to join with the Alaska State Legislature to address the 02 presence of adverse childhood experiences and childhood trauma as factors for many 03 societal issues by establishing a statewide policy, supporting evidence-based programs, 04 and funding research for statewide solutions. 05 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 06 WHEREAS nearly two-thirds of adults surveyed in the state report having 07 experienced adverse childhood experiences during childhood; and 08 WHEREAS adverse childhood experiences are traumatic experiences occurring 09 during childhood that may have a profound effect on a child's developing brain and body and 10 may result in poor health during the person's adulthood, including physical, emotional, and 11 sexual abuse, physical and emotional neglect, and household dysfunction, such as domestic 12 violence, separation or divorce involving household members, and substance abuse, untreated 13 mental illness, or incarceration of a household member; and 14 WHEREAS research over the last two decades in the evolving fields of neuroscience, 15 molecular biology, public health, genomics, and epigenetics suggests that experiences in the
01 first few years of life may influence the biology of the human body in ways that, in turn, 02 influence the person's physical and mental health over the person's lifetime; and 03 WHEREAS strong, frequent, or prolonged stress in childhood caused by adverse 04 childhood experiences can become toxic stress, which may affect the development of a child's 05 fundamental brain architecture and stress response systems; and 06 WHEREAS adverse childhood experience studies have also reported a strong 07 correlation between the number of adverse childhood experiences and a person's risk for 08 disease and negative health behaviors, including suicide attempts, cancer, ischemic heart 09 disease, diabetes, smoking, substance abuse, depression, obesity, unplanned pregnancies, 10 workplace absenteeism, lower educational achievement, and lower wages; and 11 WHEREAS approximately one in five adult Alaskans has experienced four or more 12 adverse childhood experiences; and 13 WHEREAS, according to data collected through the Behavioral Risk Factor 14 Surveillance System, when compared to an adult in the state with zero adverse childhood 15 experiences, an adult in the state with four or more adverse childhood experiences is 4.7 times 16 as likely to have ever been diagnosed with a depressive disorder, 4.2 times as likely to have 17 experienced hunger in the previous year, 2.9 times as likely to use a government food 18 program, 2.7 times as likely to be unable to work, 2.6 times as likely to use Medicaid, 2.6 19 times as likely to have not graduated from high school or received a general education 20 development diploma, 2.3 times as likely to be a current smoker, and 1.9 times as likely to be 21 a heavy drinker; and 22 WHEREAS, in research conducted outside the state, when compared to an adult with 23 zero adverse childhood experiences, an adult with four or more adverse childhood experiences 24 is 12.2 times as likely to attempt suicide, 10.3 times as likely to use injection drugs, 7.4 times 25 as likely to be an alcoholic, 2.4 times as likely to have a stroke, 2.2 times as likely to have 26 ischemic heart disease, twice as likely to have chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, 1.9 27 times as likely to have a type of cancer, and 1.6 times as likely to have diabetes; and 28 WHEREAS the Alaska Mental Health Board and the Advisory Board on Alcoholism 29 and Drug Abuse have estimated the direct and indirect cost to the state of adverse childhood 30 experiences in six categories (adult Medicaid, current smoking, diabetes, binge drinking, 31 arthritis, and obesity) to be approximately $774,000,000 annually; and
01 WHEREAS the life expectancy of a person with six or more adverse childhood 02 experiences is 20 years shorter than the life expectancy of a person with no adverse childhood 03 experiences; and 04 WHEREAS early childhood offers a unique window of opportunity to prevent and 05 mitigate the effects of adverse childhood experiences, toxic stress, and trauma on a child's 06 brain and body; and 07 WHEREAS the emerging science and research on adverse childhood experiences, 08 toxic stress, and childhood trauma have uncovered evidence of the burden of this growing 09 public health crisis for the state with implications for the state's educational, juvenile justice, 10 criminal justice, public health, public safety, labor, and commerce systems; and 11 WHEREAS Nobel-prize-winning economist James Heckman has found that high 12 quality programs for disadvantaged children between birth and five years of age can deliver a 13 13 percent annual return on investment realized through better outcomes in education, health, 14 social behaviors, and employment; and 15 WHEREAS it is more effective and less costly to positively influence the architecture 16 of a young child's developing brain than to attempt to correct poor learning, health, and 17 behaviors later in life; and 18 WHEREAS early intervention and investment in early childhood years and effective, 19 trauma-informed services and systems for people throughout the course of life are important 20 strategies to achieve a lasting foundation for a more prosperous and sustainable state through 21 investing in human capital; 22 BE IT RESOLVED that the policy decisions of the Alaska State Legislature 23 acknowledge and take into account the principles of early childhood and youth brain 24 development and, whenever possible, consider the concepts of early adversity, toxic stress, 25 childhood trauma, and the promotion of resilience through protective relationships, supports, 26 self-regulation, and services; and be it 27 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests that 28 the Governor join with the Alaska State Legislature to address the presence of adverse 29 childhood experiences and childhood trauma as factors for many societal issues by 30 establishing a statewide policy, supporting evidence-based programs, and funding research for 31 statewide solutions.