Adverse childhood experiences and their association with substance use disorders in adulthood: A general population study (Young-HUNT)
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionAddictive Behaviors Reports. 2023, 17 . 10.1016/j.abrep.2023.100488
Aim: To investigate the association of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and substance use disorders (alcohol and illicit drug use disorders), specifically by gender, in a large longitudinal non-clinical population study. Methods: Data from 8199 adolescents, first assessed for ACE (2006–2008), were linked with subsequent data from the Norwegian Patient Register to obtain diagnoses of a substance use disorder in adulthood (after 12–14 years’ follow-up in March 2020). This study used logistic regression analysis to assess the associations between ACEs and substance use disorders with respect to gender. Results: Adults with any history of ACEs have a 4.3-fold higher likelihood of developing a substance use disorder. Female adults had a 5.9-fold higher likelihood of developing an alcohol use disorder. Emotional neglect, sexual abuse and physical abuse were the strongest individual ACE predictors for this association. Male adults had a 5.0- fold higher likelihood of developing an illicit drug use disorder (for example stimulants such as cocaine, inhibiter such as opioids, cannabinoids and multiple drugs). Physical abuse, parental divorce and witnessed violence were the strongest individual ACE predictors for this association. Conclusions: This study reinforces the association between ACEs and substance use disorders and exposes a gender-specific pattern. Increased attention should be paid to the meaning of individual ACEs as well as to the accumulation of ACEs in the development of a substance use disorder.