Exact numbers are not clear, but whatever the number of incidences of domestic violence related to drugs, any domestic violence is bad. If you suspect that you’ve witnessed domestic violence, or if you’re experiencing domestic violence, call the police, especially if you see an incident – you might save someone’s life.

Bear in mind, also, that there is no one way that domestic violence looks. Most of the trauma that results from domestic violence is invisible, and some scars simply never heal. Bruises and other minor injuries, too, can be indicative of domestic violence.

Drug abuse can definitely be a push for domestic abuse, particularly in the case of people who are already living with a mental illness, which will compound any problem.  The only problem with blaming drugs for the propagating abuse is the bare fact that a person is aware aware of how the drugs that they use affect their behavior. The simple truth of it, though, is that drug addiction will negatively affect any relationship, but stacking drug abuse on top of spousal abuse or child abuse is guaranteed to exacerbate an already-difficult home situation.

Causes of Domestic Abuse

domestic abuse

As much as half of Intimate Partner Violence, or IPV, occurs when one or both of the partners is intoxicated. Physical abuse often starts as emotional abuse, stalking, and other controlling behavior before evolving into a life-threatening situation for an abused partner or child. People who abuse their families have often come from abusive households themselves; some are also violent, and living with them will pose a threat to anyone.

Some, of course, also live with a mental illness – certain severe cases of bipolar disorder and social disorders can affect the way that a person treats their spouse and those in their household. It’s important to remember that basically all domestic violence that occurs in the country is happening in a home, behind closed doors. While it may be true that people around the victims of domestic abuse may have their suspicions, and even if they have proof, the victim must be the one to seek help for themselves.  

Causes for Addiction

Nearly every person with a severe drug addiction is living with unaddressed psychological and/or mental and emotional challenges. These issues often run deep, with sexual trauma and mental illness as some of the most common triggers. It is also possible to become addicted to drugs through force of habit.

Not all drugs will have the same effect on you, so you aren’t likely become addicted to every drug that crosses your path. But a steady diet of drugs, whether it’s alcohol, amphetamines, or any narcotic can yield an addiction in a short period of time. Trying certain opioids once can be enough to render you addicted. The same principle generally applies to meth, as well.

Stress can absolutely trigger addiction. Hundreds of high-powered executives over the years have revealed various addictions, often to a type of illicit drug and alcohol, but also to sex, and gambling. 65-hour-plus work weeks and the weight of dozens of people who depend on your decisions can take a toll on any normal person, so it’s understandable that some people crack under pressure. What’s encouraging is knowing that there are several programs that can be customized to meet individual needs. Reputable rehab facilities will always have a way to reach those who are ready to get clean and sober.  

Terror at Home

Over the course of history, the ill effects of alcohol have been recorded. Neighborhood alcohol addicts in the olden days might be subject to violence from other members of the community. And since then, the reports of increased violence when drugs and alcohol enter relationships have continued to pour in.

Innumerable studies have been conducted, proving over and over again the link between drugs and alcohol and increasing domestic violence and IPV.  For better or worse, there is no one drug that makes domestic abuse worse, or less bad – nearly every drug is prone to create a monster out of an already-abusive person. To be sure, the most-often abused drug in the world is alcohol, with people from all walks of life falling under its spell. Use of these drugs, in fact, is something that an abuser may view as a sort of rationale for their bad behavior.

The reason that many people remain in abusive relationships is fear of their partner’s violent retaliation. Another reason is feeling as if they’re stuck, without proper resources, or any outside help. Yet another reason is codependency, placing a victim in a situation where they are not only abused, but still feel that they need and want to be with their abusive partner.  It is also far from uncommon that a person remains in an abusive relationship for their partner’s access to drugs on which both are hooked.

One of the main dangers of IPV or child abuse is the increased likelihood of a victim coming to a violent end at the hands of an abuser. Women, of course, are the main victims, with addicted and abusive male spouses most likely to inflict harm.

What’s disturbing, though, is the disparity among different races when it comes to the safety of women in romantic relationships: nearly 40% of Black women have experienced IPV, or are in an abusive relationship, compared to 30% of white women, and 35% of Latin American/Mixed women. Remember also that nearly half of the attacks endured by domestic abuse victims occur when their abuser has been using, or drinking.

Rehab Can be a Way Out

While it is difficult to get an abusive partner to go to rehab, it might be less difficult for victims of violence. Rehab can be a safe place for someone leaving an abusive home to recover in peace. It’s especially important for sensitive addicted persons to choose a facility that is a good fit for their needs.

It is difficult to rescue people living in abusive situations, still: victims are often used to lying to cover for their partner’s evil words and actions, so getting a domestic abuse victim to admit that there is a problem will be difficult.  An interventionist may be able to assist you, so make sure to contact a local reputable rehab facility if you have questions about how you can help anyone in your life who is living with addiction.

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