Putting the Power of Self-Knowledge to Work

“I think when people look back at our time, they will be amazed at one thing more than any other,” she writes. “It is this — that we do know more about ourselves now than other people did in the past, but that very little of this knowledge has been put into effect.”

.. childhood trauma — so-called adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs — substantially increase risks for a range of negative outcomes, including dropping out of school, abusing drugs, becoming depressed, committing suicide, and being a victim of, or a perpetrator, of violence or abuse.

.. ACEs are common. Close to one in four people has three or more of these experiences, and they are far more prevalent among people under age 55.

.. And later, in the absence of healthy options, the way they cope with the pain, anxiety or shame is often by self-medicating. Nicotine is a great anti-anxiety medication, and the first prescription antidepressants were methamphetamines.”

.. There’s so much historic trauma in tribal communities,” she said. “Traditionally, children were seen as sacred beings and abuse was nonexistent.” But generations of displacement and discrimination, including the practice of removing tribal children from their families and placing them in boarding schools, where neglect and abuse were common, has contributed to persistently high rates of alcoholism, drug use and incarceration.

.. Usually, we’re so focused on the symptom level — addiction, abuse, disease,”

.. At present, the department’s recidivism rate — which it defines as committing a felony and returning to prison within three years — is 32 percent. Becker-Green’s goal is to lower it to 25 percent by 2020.