Domestic violence and substance use have long been connected; substance abuse is often present in those enacting violence on their loved ones, as well in those being abused.

Domestic violence is categorized as the intentional physical, emotional, mental or sexual abuse by a partner or family member in order to have control over another. It’s important to remember abuse is not always physical, and can manifest in ways such as—psychological bullying, isolating someone from their friends and family, controlling their partner’s money or emotional manipulation.

Substance abuse is the habit of using drugs or alcohol (or both) until it leads to a physical or psychological dependence. When a substance use disorder evolves into an addiction, it means the individual is still frequently using drugs or alcohol despite any harm that is being caused to themselves or affecting other areas of their life (such as work, school, relationships).

This article is going to walk you through the connection between domestic violence and substance use. We’re going to share the substances most likely to lead to violence, and the ones most likely to be used by someone coping with being abused.

Effects of substance abuse

Substance abuse does not always lead to an individual becoming violent. Because of this, there have been many debates as to whether or not substance use truly does beget domestic violence, or amplify a pre-existing condition, disorder or behavior.

While a substance abuse disorder is never the sole cause of an individual turning violent, the link between substance abuse and domestic violence cannot be ignored. Substance abuse continues to be a present factor in the majority of domestic violence cases.

The Addiction Center published the below statistics which give us a clear window into the correlation between the two.

  • Nearly 80 percent of all domestic violence crimes are related to drug use
  • Substance abuse is involved in 40–60 percent of intimate (IPV) incidents
  • 30–40 percent of men are drinking at the time of assaulting their partner
  • Prior to assault, over 90 percent of men abused substances on the day of

The above statistics from The Addiction Center proving that substance abuse has a direct correlation to domestic violence in some cases.

Effects of domestic violence

Those who have suffered from intimate partner violence (IPV) are at a high risk of developing a substance use disorder in attempt to cope with the stress, abuse and trauma they have or are actively experiencing.

The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health shared the below statistics concerning women in addiction recovery who had endured some form of abuse in their lives: 

  • Nearly 50 percent of women receiving addiction treatment have experienced IPV
  • Nearly 70 percent of women in addiction recovery reported being abused in the past six months

Women who have recently experienced IPV are nearly six times more likely to developing an alcohol use disorder, but only twice as likely to seek professional treatment for it.

Common substances abused

Alcohol is perhaps the most commonly associated substance with domestic violence, but in reality, the majority of domestic violence crimes (80 percent) are related directly with drug use, both prescription and street.

The prescription drugs that have been most linked to violence are anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, prescription opioids and smoking cessation aids. 

The street drugs that have been most linked to violence are cocaine, heroin and meth.

Those who experience IPV are more likely to use and abuse alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, as well as suffer from eating disorders, behavioral disorders and mental health disorders.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder or you suspect an addiction may be present, send us a message here at Silver Ridge Recovery.

Reach out for professional help

Silver Ridge is a premier drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in North Carolina. In order to provide full-spectrum treatment, we take a unique approach to recovery by utilizing a combination of evidence-based conventional and holistic techniques to help our patients.

When left untreated, substance abuse can be fatal; rather than try and get your loved one to quit with familial help, reach out to a recovery center. Due to how severe and sometimes even dangerous withdrawal symptoms can be, it’s always recommended for someone recovering from an addiction to be under professional medical supervision.

To learn more about the different recovery programs we offer, call our office today.