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Resources: CDC study could make a huge difference

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 like obesity, heart disease, depression, and even drug or alcohol abuse, as adults.

Those results came as no surprise to those working in wellness and healthcare fields here in the Mid-Ohio Valley. But, they are fully willing to take advantage of the federal government’s new awareness, as they continue to try to tackle to the problem.

“It’s been an eye-opener,” said Pamela Santer, wellness coordinator for West Virginia University at Parkersburg. “A lot of us have championed the cause for years, and then all of a sudden, boom, it’s taken off.”

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.

But Santer knows that CDC gravitas may mean more resources for programs that could make a difference; and another tool in talking to others who work with struggling children.

“This is a health issue,” she said. “That’s the next step, getting the doctors and pediatricians on board. I think (the CDC study) is going to change the way we approach things.”

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.

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