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ACR-8 Adverse childhood experiences: post-traumatic “street” disorder.(2017-2018)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  May 01, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 8


Introduced by Assembly Member Jones-Sawyer

January 10, 2017


Relative to post-traumatic “street” disorder. mental health.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


ACR 8, as amended, Jones-Sawyer. Post-traumatic Adverse childhood experiences: post-traumatic “street” disorder.
This measure would recognize adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), also known as post-traumatic “street” disorder in communities of color, as a mental health condition with growing implications for our state.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, Children who are exposed to a range of traumatic experiences can develop a form of post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a mental health condition that is triggered by either experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event; and
WHEREAS, Research has identified the cause of this form of post-traumatic stress disorder as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), which are childhood experiences that have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunities. ACEs are also referred to as post-traumatic “street” disorder in highly segregated and deeply impoverished communities where paralyzing violence and extreme poverty are either experienced or witnessed by residents; and
WHEREAS, ACEs studies have shown that exposure to early adversity affects the developing brains and bodies of children. It affects areas like the nucleus accumbens, the pleasure and reward center of the brain that is implicated in substance dependence. It inhibits the prefrontal cortex, which is necessary for impulse control and executive function, a critical area for learning. There are also measurable differences in the amygdala, the brain’s fear response center; and
WHEREAS, There are real neurologic reasons why children who are exposed to high doses of adversity are more likely to engage in high-risk behavior. Children are especially sensitive to repeated stress activation because their brains and bodies are just developing. High doses of adversity not only affect brain structure and function, they affect the developing immune system, developing hormonal systems, and even the way our DNA is read and transcribed; and
WHEREAS, Studies show that a child’s exposure to multiple or prolonged traumatic events during his or her early childhood, and occurring within the primary caregiving system, that involve the simultaneous or sequential occurrence of child maltreatment, including psychological maltreatment, neglect, physical and sexual abuse, and domestic violence, result in emotional dysregulation and the loss of safety, direction, and the ability to detect or respond to danger cues. Exposure to these traumatic events often sets off a chain of events leading to subsequent or repeated trauma exposure in adolescence and adulthood; and
WHEREAS, ACEs, including post-traumatic “street” disorder, have gone undiagnosed until recently. It disproportionately impacts minority children living in highly segregated and impoverished communities and has become an unaddressed public health threat facing our state today; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature recognizes adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), also known as post-traumatic “street” disorder in communities of color, as a mental health condition with growing implications for our state.

WHEREAS, Post-traumatic “street” disorder is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Post-traumatic “street” disorder is a mental health condition that is triggered by terrifying or traumatic events associated with living in highly segregated and deeply impoverished neighborhoods, where paralyzing violence or extreme poverty is either experienced or witnessed by residents; and

WHEREAS, Symptoms of post-traumatic “street” disorder may include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event itself, which can take years to manifest; and

WHEREAS, Post-traumatic “street” disorder symptoms tend to go undetected and undiagnosed in children and adults, resulting in generational and cyclical forms of the disorder permeating inner cities. Symptoms may start within three months of the traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms may cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships; and

WHEREAS, Post-traumatic “street” disorder symptoms are similar to those of PTSD and are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, or changes in emotional reactions. However, with a lack of diagnosis in the early stages of street trauma, symptoms become masked by other disorders, such as willful defiance, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and violence, and those other disorders become the focus of diagnosis; and

WHEREAS, There is an epidemic of post-traumatic “street” disorder in American cities, and it has nothing to do with the wars being fought abroad. Homegrown violence and a sense of hopelessness in America’s urban war zones are leaving thousands of children and adults with severe psychological trauma that stunts their emotional and cognitive development; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature recognizes post-traumatic “street” disorder as a mental health condition with growing implications for our state.