Sex differences in the association of adverse childhood experiences on past 30-day opioid misuse among Florida justice-involved children

Farwah Zaidi, Micah E. Johnson, Zahra Akbari, Enya B. Vroom, Skye C. Bristol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Opioid misuse remains a chief public health concern in the United States, especially among justice-involved children and adolescents (JIC). Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are prevalent among JIC and are associated with a higher risk for opioid misuse. Justice involvement can be harsher for females, who tend to have higher ACE scores and experience more physiological and psychological risk factors than males. However, this study was the first to examine how sex may moderate the link between ACEs and opioid misuse. This study hypothesized that females will have higher odds of opioid misuse than males with equivalent ACEs. Methods: The study team examined cross-sectional data on 79,960 JIC in the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice from 2007 to 2015. The study measured ACEs using 10 questions from the Positive Achievement Change Tool. Opioid misuse was reported by either self-disclosure, positive urinalysis, or other evidence of opioid consumption within the past 30 days. The team estimated logistic regression, marginal effects, and multiplicative interaction terms to test the hypotheses. Results: JIC with an ACE score of 4 or higher were 2.59 times more likely to misuse opioids than JIC with lower ACE scores. Among JIC with 4 or more ACEs, females had significantly higher odds of opioid misuse than males. Conclusion: Reducing exposure to ACEs may decrease the risk for opioid misuse, particularly among females. These findings corroborate trauma-informed and sex-responsive prevention programs in the juvenile justice system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108787
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Volume140
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Juvenile justice system
  • Opioid misuse
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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