Timely and Appropriate Intervention and Help is Critical
Without timely and appropriate intervention and help, untreated trauma can lead to many adverse long-term consequences, including but not limited to:
- Engaging in High Risk Behavior: Early initiation of smoking, sexual activity, illicit drug use, adolescent pregnancies, and even suicide.
- Chronic Illness: There is a strong link between adverse childhood experiences, such as abuse and trauma, and the onset of adult of chronic illness. Research has found that individuals experiencing multiple traumas as children were found to have significantly higher rates of heart disease, chronic pulmonary lung disease, hepatitis, depression, diabetes, and even early death.
- Interaction with the Adult and Juvenile Justice Systems: Without appropriate and effective intervention, this population also has a 53% greater likelihood of being arrested for juvenile crime and a 38% greater likelihood of being arrested as an adult.
- Overall Costs to Society: Furthermore, the direct costs of dealing with child abuse and neglect including hospitalization, chronic health problems, mental health care, child welfare, law enforcement, and costs to the judicial system are estimated to be more than $103.8 billion annually (in 2007 value) nationally.