Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence: A Volatile Mix

Last Updated: October 27, 2022

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Perhaps not coincidentally, it is also National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. Unfortunately, drug addiction and domestic violence often go hand in hand.

When it comes to intertwined domestic abuse and drug abuse, it is often difficult to say which came first and whether one is a consequence of the other. For instance, many people who become addicted to drugs are seeking escape from domestic abuse. On the other hand, many people who are addicted to drugs act out during intoxication, causing domestic abuse. Thus, the problems of domestic violence and substance abuse are often intertwined.

Here are some disturbing facts about the combination of domestic abuse and drug addiction:

  • 69 percent of women being treated for drug abuse report some sort of past sexual abuse.
  • Regular alcohol abuse is a leading risk factor for partner violence.
  • The risk of domestic and partner violence increases when both partners abuse or are addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can involve anyone living in the home, including spouses, partners, children, siblings, or anyone else who lives there. Domestic violence can occur daily or randomly but usually will increase in both frequency and severity over time.

Domestic violence can be sexual, verbal, emotional, or physical. It is not always directly applied to the victim but can take the form of destroying property. For example, domestic abuse can include destroying another’s possessions or even pets. Violence is a frightening form of exerting force and control and only gets worse when drugs are involved.

Children also become victims, even if they are not directly abused. If a child witnesses abuse or lives in a home with occurring abuse, he or she will be affected. This can lead to another life of addiction and/or abuse.

Drug Abuse

Because addiction is a mental health condition, those suffering from addiction need help. Recovery is possible, but usually requires intensive treatment. If domestic violence is present, it is even more imperative that treatment takes place.

Whether the person using drugs or alcohol is committing domestic violence or is the receiver of it, he or she needs treatment. The drug epidemic is at a frighteningly high rate, and when domestic abuse comes into play, the numbers of injury and death are much too high.

Treatment is Available for Everyone

The good news is that for those tangled in the web of domestic violence and addiction, treatment is available. This is true whether you are the one committing the domestic violence or the one receiving it.

If you are the one committing abuse: If addiction to drugs or alcohol is contributing to your loss of control at home, you can find help for both issues in a drug rehab. It is often the case that there are many factors that contribute to abuse issues, and professional counselors in drug rehab can help you learn how to cope with all these issues and get on a path to recovery.  

If you are the one being abused:  If you have turned to drugs and alcohol as a way to escape the pain of domestic abuse and are suffering from addiction, you will find help available in rehab as well. Professional addiction specialists can help you find healthier ways of coping and can work with you to ensure your successful recovery.

See More: Substance Abuse Counseling

For both the abuser and the one being abused, abuse and addiction are often a terrifying and dangerous combination. If you need help and want to change your life for the better, please do not hesitate. Get the help you need today. Contact us to learn about admissions.

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