Andrew M Bennett

Public Health Practitioner

Andrew has worked for the last 12 years as a public health practitioner supporting a range of alcohol, smoking, obesity, ageing and other programmes. More recently he has helped develop adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) informed policy and practice in North Wales and Ireland and produced the ACEs animation. Andrew is currently supporting the National ACE Approach to Policing Vulnerability Programme in Wales.

ACEs are an increasing international concern. There is a growing body of evidence that adults who were physically or sexually abused as children or brought up in households where there was domestic violence, problematic alcohol or drug use and other stressful occurrences are more likely to adopt health-harming behaviours including substance use in adult life.

A former youth worker, drug worker and Director of HIT, Andrew has become somewhat fixated about missed opportunities to improve the lives of individuals with seemingly intractable and intergenerational drug-related problems. Understanding childhood trauma is an essential step to address problematic coping behaviours including alcohol and other drugs.

Topic

Making the case for ACEs routine enquiry in drug services. ACEs are common especially among marginalised people seeking help with alcohol and other drugs, yet they are rarely asked about. The presentation made a case for ACE aware and trauma-informed substance use services including the implementation of routine enquiry.

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