Adverse Childhood Experiences Propel Adult Addiction


  • Muntadher Ahmed Ghanim Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Department College of Nursing, University of Kerbala, Karbala, Iraq.
  • Ali Kareem Al-Juboori Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Department College of Nursing, University of Kerbala, Karbala, Iraq.


Adverse Childhood Experiences, Addiction, Substance Abuse, Childhood Trauma, Retrospective Study.


Despite the negative consequences, individuals with addiction persist in drug use, characterized by relapses and chronic brain disorders. Research has established a link between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and subsequent alcohol and drug problems. This study aimed to identify the influence of ACEs on the development of addiction in adulthood. A descriptive (retrospective) design was employed from August 1, 2023, to March 1, 2024, involving 142 male addict patients using convenience sampling. Data were collected via a questionnaire comprising sociodemographic information, the ACEs Questionnaire, and the Simple Screening Instrument for Alcohol and Other Drugs (SSI-AOD). Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for analysis. Results showed that 43.3% of patients had experienced some form of negative childhood experience, and 71.8% had moderate to severe alcohol and drug use. The findings suggest that ACEs significantly impact the development of addiction in adulthood, with participants exhibiting moderate levels of both substance use and adverse childhood experiences. Ethical considerations were adhered to, with approval from the University of Karbala and assurances of confidentiality for participants. This study highlights the critical role of ACEs in adult addiction, emphasizing the need for targeted interventions.


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How to Cite

Ghanim, M. A., & Al-Juboori, A. K. (2024). Adverse Childhood Experiences Propel Adult Addiction. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH SYSTEMS AND MEDICAL SCIENCES, 3(3), 155–161. Retrieved from