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CSHCR 2(STA): Urging Governor Bill Walker to join with the Alaska State Legislature to address the presence of adverse childhood experiences and childhood trauma as factors for many societal issues by establishing a statewide policy, supporting evidence-based programs, and funding research for statewide solutions.

00              CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 2(STA)                                                              
01 Urging Governor Bill Walker to join with the Alaska State Legislature to address the                                    
02 presence of adverse childhood experiences and childhood trauma as factors for many                                      
03 societal issues by establishing a statewide policy, supporting evidence-based programs,                                 
04 and funding research for statewide solutions.                                                                           
05 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
06       WHEREAS nearly two-thirds of adults surveyed in the state report having                                         
07 experienced adverse childhood experiences during childhood; and                                                         
08       WHEREAS adverse childhood experiences are traumatic experiences occurring                                       
09 during childhood that may have a profound effect on a child's developing brain and body and                             
10 may result in poor health during the person's adulthood, including physical, emotional, and                             
11 sexual abuse, physical and emotional neglect, and household dysfunction, such as domestic                               
12 violence, separation or divorce involving household members, and substance abuse, untreated                             
13 mental illness, or incarceration of a household member; and                                                             
14       WHEREAS research over the last two decades in the evolving fields of neuroscience,                              
15 molecular biology, public health, genomics, and epigenetics suggests that experiences in the                            
01 first few years of life may influence the biology of the human body in ways that, in turn,                              
02 influence the person's physical and mental health over the person's lifetime; and                                       
03 WHEREAS strong, frequent, or prolonged stress in childhood caused by adverse                                          
04 childhood experiences can become toxic stress, which may affect the development of a child's                            
05 fundamental brain architecture and stress response systems; and                                                         
06 WHEREAS adverse childhood experience studies have also reported a strong                                              
07 correlation between the number of adverse childhood experiences and a person's risk for                                 
08 disease and negative health behaviors, including suicide attempts, cancer, ischemic heart                               
09 disease, diabetes, smoking, substance abuse, depression, obesity, unplanned pregnancies,                                
10 workplace absenteeism, lower educational achievement, and lower wages; and                                              
11 WHEREAS approximately one in five adult Alaskans has experienced four or more                                         
12 adverse childhood experiences; and                                                                                      
13 WHEREAS, according to data collected through the Behavioral Risk Factor                                               
14 Surveillance System, when compared to an adult in the state with zero adverse childhood                                 
15 experiences, an adult in the state with four or more adverse childhood experiences is 4.7 times                         
16 as likely to have ever been diagnosed with a depressive disorder, 4.2 times as likely to have                           
17 experienced hunger in the previous year, 2.9 times as likely to use a government food                                   
18 program, 2.7 times as likely to be unable to work, 2.6 times as likely to use Medicaid, 2.6                             
19 times as likely to have not graduated from high school or received a general education                                  
20 development diploma, 2.3 times as likely to be a current smoker, and 1.9 times as likely to be                          
21 a heavy drinker; and                                                                                                    
22 WHEREAS, in research conducted outside the state, when compared to an adult with                                      
23 zero adverse childhood experiences, an adult with four or more adverse childhood experiences                            
24 is 12.2 times as likely to attempt suicide, 10.3 times as likely to use injection drugs, 7.4 times                      
25 as likely to be an alcoholic, 2.4 times as likely to have a stroke, 2.2 times as likely to have                         
26 ischemic heart disease, twice as likely to have chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, 1.9                              
27 times as likely to have a type of cancer, and 1.6 times as likely to have diabetes; and                               
28 WHEREAS the Alaska Mental Health Board and the Advisory Board on Alcoholism                                           
29 and Drug Abuse have estimated the direct and indirect cost to the state of adverse childhood                            
30 experiences in six categories (adult Medicaid, current smoking, diabetes, binge drinking,                               
31 arthritis, and obesity) to be approximately $774,000,000 annually; and                                                  
01 WHEREAS the life expectancy of a person with six or more adverse childhood                                            
02 experiences is 20 years shorter than the life expectancy of a person with no adverse childhood                          
03 experiences; and                                                                                                        
04 WHEREAS early childhood offers a unique window of opportunity to prevent and                                          
05 mitigate the effects of adverse childhood experiences, toxic stress, and trauma on a child's                            
06 brain and body; and                                                                                                     
07 WHEREAS the emerging science and research on adverse childhood experiences,                                           
08 toxic stress, and childhood trauma have uncovered evidence of the burden of this growing                                
09 public health crisis for the state with implications for the state's educational, juvenile justice,                     
10 criminal justice, public health, public safety, labor, and commerce systems; and                                        
11 WHEREAS Nobel-prize-winning economist James Heckman has found that high                                               
12 quality programs for disadvantaged children between birth and five years of age can deliver a                           
13 13 percent annual return on investment realized through better outcomes in education, health,                           
14 social behaviors, and employment; and                                                                                   
15 WHEREAS it is more effective and less costly to positively influence the architecture                                 
16 of a young child's developing brain than to attempt to correct poor learning, health, and                               
17 behaviors later in life; and                                                                                            
18 WHEREAS early intervention and investment in early childhood years and effective,                                     
19 trauma-informed services and systems for people throughout the course of life are important                             
20 strategies to achieve a lasting foundation for a more prosperous and sustainable state through                          
21 investing in human capital;                                                                                             
22 BE IT RESOLVED that the policy decisions of the Alaska State Legislature                                              
23 acknowledge and take into account the principles of early childhood and youth brain                                     
24 development and, whenever possible, consider the concepts of early adversity, toxic stress,                             
25 childhood trauma, and the promotion of resilience through protective relationships, supports,                           
26 self-regulation, and services; and be it                                                                                
27 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests that                                         
28 the Governor join with the Alaska State Legislature to address the presence of adverse                                  
29 childhood experiences and childhood trauma as factors for many societal issues by                                       
30 establishing a statewide policy, supporting evidence-based programs, and funding research for                           
31 statewide solutions.