'Zero Tolerance' Immigration Policy and Adverse Childhood Experiences

The U.S. government is ripping children away from their parents and putting them in cages. It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to know that these separations are immensely traumatic, inhumane and fall into the category of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). We know from evidenced based research that ACEs are associated with poor longterm outcomes including an increase in lifetime depressive episodes, negative physical health outcomes, 2- to 4- fold increase in lifetime drug use, early initiation of alcohol use and a 2- to 5- fold increase in risk of attempted suicide. There are significant association between each ACE a mother experienced during her early childhood and decreased birth weight and gestational age of her infant at birth.