Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) refer to some of the most intensive and frequently occurring sources of stress that children may suffer early in life. Such experiences include multiple types of abuse; neglect; violence between parents or caregivers; other kinds of serious household dysfunction such as alcohol and substance abuse; and peer, community and collective violence.
It has been shown that considerable and prolonged stress in childhood has life-long consequences for a person’s health and well-being. It can disrupt early brain development and compromise functioning of the nervous and immune systems. In addition because of the behaviours adopted by some people who have faced ACEs, such stress can lead to serious problems such as alcoholism, depression, eating disorders, unsafe sex, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases.
According to addiction expert Dr Robert Lefever, director of the Promis recovery centre in Richards’ native Kent, there is only one possible explanation for his longevity: “He must have the constitution of an ox.”
.. In his book, he acknowledges that his wealth allowed him to ingest a higher quality of substances than the typical drug user.
But he adds: “I was very meticulous about how much I took. I’d never put more in to get a little higher.
.. “It’s the greed involved that never really affected me. People think once they’ve got this high, if they take some more they’re going to get a little higher. There’s no such thing. Especially with cocaine.
.. “Still, it’s not as though any children are going to think he’s a good example. Just look at him: He’s got a face like a prune’s wallet.”