Dangerous Duos: Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse

Diablo Valley Treatment on June 11, 2019

Dealing with active addiction it tough. But, the fact of the matter is that most individuals struggling with substance abuse have other issues too. One issue that’s commonly paired with addiction is domestic violence. For those dealing with both domestic violence and substance abuse, it’s important to seek help which identifies both issues. This way, they can establish true and lasting recovery from both issues.

Identifying Domestic Abuse in Your Life

Before you can identify if you or a loved one is struggling with a domestic abuse situation, it’s best to know what domestic abuse is. Basically, domestic abuse is when one romantic partner attempts to manipulate and control the other partner by means of physical, verbal, or mental means. Some characteristics of domestic abuse can include:

  • Intimidation
  • Controlling behaviors
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional manipulation
  • Threats
  • Placing blame
  • Economic coercion
  • Physical abuse

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, creed, or religion. Often, those who act out in violent behaviors may try to justify their words or behaviors. However, there is never a situation in which the above behaviors should be utilized, especially in an intimate relationship. So, if you notice your partner portraying any of these behaviors, you may be struggling with domestic violence in your home.

Staying in a Domestically Violent Relationship

Dangerous Duos: Domestic Violence and Substance AbuseIt can be challenging for friends and loved ones of a person struggling with domestic abuse to see how they can stay in a relationship that’s so obviously negative. However, in most situations, individuals choose to stay with their domestically violent partner out of fear. They either fear for their own safety or for the safety of their children if they were to leave. Some other reasons people may choose to stay with a domestically violent partner may include:

  • Denial of any issues in the relationship
  • They claim to love their partner
  • They don’t want to admit that their partner is abusive to friends and family
  • They feel that divorce/leaving is against their religious beliefs or cultural expectations
  • They depend on their abusive partner financially
  • They fear their partner will reveal secrets about them if they leave
  • They depend on their partner to conduct physical tasks

The Pair Between Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse

Being addicted to a substance is certainly not an excuse to act out in domestically violent behaviors. However, domestic violence and substance abuse are a common pair. And those who are addicted to a substance have an increased likelihood to act out in these types of behaviors. On the other hand, those who have domestically violent partners may also be at an increased risk for addiction as they may attempt to self-medicate the symptoms of domestic abuse with addictive substances.

Statistics show that domestic violence and substance abuse are a likely pair. In fact, according to statistics:

  • Around half of all domestic violence situations include substance abuse.
  • About ⅕ of all domestically violent men have admitted to using addictive substances before committing domestically violent acts.
  • Women who experience domestically violent partners are up to 70 times more likely to develop alcoholism than women in healthy relationships.
  • Half the men in counseling for domestic violence are also addicted to some kind of substance.

Getting Help for Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse

Whether you are the victim of domestic violence or the accused individual in the relationship, you are at risk for developing an addiction. When substance abuse is paired with domestic violence, things don’t get better- they get worse.

Starting with a Clean Slate After Opioid Abuse Treatment

Fortunately, there is help through counseling that can aid you in managing a healthier lifestyle. If you’re ready to get the help you need, contact Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services today.