Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have far-reaching effects on a wide range of health outcomes in adulthood, however, less is known about their consequences in emerging adulthood or in a geographically distinct sample. We examined the cumulative and individual relation of ACEs and two risky behaviors: alcohol and illegal drugs consumed by 490 Spanish emerging adults (mean age = 18.9). Participants answered the ACEs questionnaire, and two items about alcohol and illegal drugs consumption. Results showed that the overall experience of suffering different ACEs was a significant predictor of drug but not of alcohol consumption. Moreover, ACEs subtypes presented differential effects on substance use. Whereas some increased the likelihood of either drug or alcohol use, others reduced it. This study supports the importance of examining specific adverse experiences rather than only using an overall measure and provides some counterintuitive results that may be linked to resilient mechanisms.