Impact and relationship of childhood experiences and substance abuse in a population of Baghdad City, Iraq

Riyadh K Lafta, Ameel F Al Shawi, Ahmed Samir Al Nuaimi, Saleh Al Hasnawi
2015 South East Asia Journal of Public Health  
<p>Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) (e.g. abuse, neglect, violence between parents or caregivers, and community violence) are associated with higher rates of depression, tobacco use, alcoholism, illicit drug use and attempted suicide among adult population. The objective of this study is to identify the relationship of childhood experiences to substance use during adulthood in a sample from Baghdad city. A multistage sampling technique was used to choose respondents from primary health care
more » ... primary health care centers and universities. Childhood experiences were measured by applying a modified standardized Adverse Childhood Experiences International Questionnaire (ACE-IQ) to inquire about the negative childhood experiences (household dysfunction and abuse, and exposure to community and collective violence) and positive childhood experiences presented by bonding to family. A total of 1040 subjects were surveyed and 1000 responded, making a response rate of 96.2%. The mean score of household dysfunction and abuse is significantly higher among those with a positive history of taking sedative drugs (24.1) compared to those with a negative history (12.3). The association between sedative drugs use and the score of household dysfunction and abuse is rated as a strong association. A strong association was found between history of alcohol drinking and a higher score of household dysfunction and abuse. The mean score of bonding to family (76.2) is significantly higher among those with a negative history of sedative drug use compared to the mean score of bonding to family of subjects with a positive history of sedative drug use (65.3). It can be concluded from this study that sedative drug use is strongly associated with household dysfunction and abuse, the same is for alcohol drinking. Special national programs, including prevention and intervention strategies, are needed to build resilience among people targeting early adverse childhood experiences and their consequences.</p><p>South East Asia Journal of Public Health Vol.5(1) 2015: 25-32</p>
doi:10.3329/seajph.v5i1.24848 fatcat:elkb3k2xvffh7dcrpkd3fcsjvu