Domestic Violence and Addiction: How are they Connected?

drugs and violence

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship to maintain power or control over the other person. Addiction is a disease in which you become dependent on a substance and are unable to function daily without it, despite the consequences. 

Domestic violence often goes hand in hand with addiction. Whether it’s psychological manipulation or physical abuse, domestic violence is highly dangerous and painful. These different forms of abuse are important to understand as we start to understand the link between domestic violence and addiction.

Recognizing the causes of domestic violence and how it links with addiction can save a life. Whether you’re the abuser or the victim, seeking treatment is crucial. No matter what point you’re at, it’s not too late to take a chance. Domestic violence, coupled with addiction, can have a fatal outcome if not addressed early on.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence also referred to as intimate partner violence, and domestic abuse consists of one or both parties physically and/or emotionally abusing each other in an unhealthy relationship. Mayo Clinic defines domestic abuse as “a pattern of coercive tactics used to gain and maintain power and control in an ongoing, familiar relationship.” This includes misconstrued balances of power, respect, control, and (wellbeing). 

The relationship becomes toxic and unsafe for one or both of the parties. The abuse can involve verbal, emotional, and physical coercion, destruction of property, hurting or killing pets, rape, and physical attacks. There are four main types of domestic abuse. 

These include:

Domestic violence over an extended period results in long-lasting health problems, such as mental health disorders and eating disorders. Victims may also turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the emotional toll of abuse. For some, substance abuse may lead to addiction. 

As stated by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, research has concluded that both victims and abusers are 11 times more likely to be involved in domestic violence disputes on days of heavy substance use. Most people that abuse a substance are not abusive toward their partners. However, a large number of people who abuse their partners also partake in substance abuse.

Characteristics of Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse and violence isn’t always easy to spot. Even when it seems obvious, you may have become immune to it. Understanding some of the characteristics of domestic abuse is crucial in putting an end to it. Below are a few of the many symptoms:

Physical Abuse 

Physical abuse can be identified by:

Psychological/Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can be spotted by noticing some of these signs:

Making all decisions, such as canceling another’s plans without asking

Domestic Violence and Emotional/Mental Disorders

Mental health disorders are a common consequence of domestic violence and abuse. There are many unsettling emotions one must cope through after being in an abusive relationship. 

These disorders and unpleasant emotions can include:

Victims of domestic violence and substance abuse can develop emotional and mental disorders at any time in response to the emotional damage caused by abuse. 

The Link Between Domestic Violence and Addiction

Domestic violence stems from a loss of control. This is partly why addiction plays such a large role in domestic violence. When under the influence of a substance, your judgment and perspective become impaired. This can consequently lead to a loss of control.

Addiction and substance abuse are significantly connected to domestic violence. Being under the influence of any substance significantly increases the chances of abusive behavior. Did you know that nearly 80% of domestic violence crimes are related to the use of drugs?

When a person abuses drugs, the chemicals in their brain are rewired to seek out the substance, regardless of any future consequences of their behavior. This can result in irrational, violent, or controlling behavior within a relationship. If both parties have substance abuse disorder, the risk of domestic violence increases. 

It is harder for the victim to understand how much danger they’re actually in. He or she will likely have a difficult time defending themselves against a partner’s attack or being able to seek help. This is a toxic pattern that can continue for sometimes years at a time. It’s crucial to understand the connection between domestic violence and addiction, so those who need help can seek it.

Treatment for Domestic Violence Victims

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration held a study that stated 25% of all women experience rape or physical assault of some kind throughout their lives. It is a common feeling for the victim to feel trapped. This may be because of financial dependency or fear of their partner physically hurting them. As a result, many of these victims suffer in silence and go on to develop substance abuse issues. The inability to properly cope with the trauma ends up negatively impacting them.

In some of the most severe cases, the abuser serves as a supplier of drugs or alcohol to the victim. Consequently, this creates an even more intense attachment. To make matters worse, children who experience domestic abuse are at a much greater risk for latent drug or alcohol addiction. That is why attending treatment is so important if you notice that an addiction has taken place.

The sooner you address the problem, the sooner you can begin working towards a happier and healthier life. If you’re a victim of domestic violence, we have a wealth of resources to aid you in treatment. At Coastal Detox, we offer many therapeutic services to target emotional trauma and co-occurring disorders. Domestic violence victims often lack the confidence and independence to leave their abusive situation. The goal of therapy is to help them gain the confidence and tools they need to lead healthy lives.

Treatment for Domestic Violence Abusers

Domestic violence can be a complex topic. When discussing domestic violence, it’s important to understand that current abusers are sometimes past victims. In no way does this justify becoming an abuser – However, it does mean that the abuser needs to receive proper treatment to work through unresolved issues. 

They must receive treatment to help them cope with their past abuse before any real work can begin. After addressing their past, the next step is usually a series of trauma therapies. It is important to work through each issue. These issues can include current anger issues as well as substance abuse.

The initial patient assessment is the first step when it comes to getting an honest and thorough understanding of the abuser’s history. Very often, shame and embarrassment keep patients from telling the full story about their abusive past. At Coastal Detox, a non-judgmental atmosphere is something we prioritize.

For the abuser to work through their past and grow into a person they’re proud of; honesty is key. Especially when it comes to substance abuse being a part of the picture as well. Addiction and domestic abuse are linked in more ways than one.

Recovering abusers are taught anger management techniques to help them avoid relapse. Their addiction will be properly treated throughout the program, along with any mental health concerns. Patients will apply the coping tools they learned in domestic violence and addiction treatment to sustain their recovery.

Domestic violence doesn’t have to control your life. There are brighter days ahead. At Coastal Detox, we strive to help our patients rebuild their lives and move forward as stronger people.

Start Your Recovery Journey Today 

For both the abuser and victim, domestic abuse cannot be swept under the rug. It must be properly addressed to prevent anyone from getting hurt. At Coastal Detox, we prioritize a high level of care to ensure each patient’s comfort and safety.

Some of our many services include individual therapy, group therapy, massages, gym membership, and much, much more. Our goal is to create a sober environment that you or a loved one can learn and thrive in. 

Our trained medical staff will care for you and provide the tools for a long-lasting sober life. With the right support and treatment, your entire life can take a turn for the better. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to give us a call. You can contact us here or call us at (844) 387-1286 to begin your recovery journey today.

Connor Barton
Connor Barton
2022-06-03
Verified
The staff here is amazing. Caring and attentive. I finally kicked the sticks and couldn’t be happier.
Jacob Rashid
Jacob Rashid
2022-06-03
Verified
So nice to have Grandma back to her old self. She has struggled with xannies for as long as I can remember. The staff were so attentive and met her where she was, not where they wanted her to be. Thank you Coastal Detox!
Tara Payne
Tara Payne
2022-05-20
Verified
I struggled with alcohol addiction for most of my life. After many tries nothing worked.It was my 43rd birthday and I wasn't gonna see 44 if I didn't get help. I called around and found Coastal. So glad I did. I am so grateful for EVERYONE there. This beautiful facility is not just a detox. They actually have programs to help you learn to live a sober life and enjoy being yourself again! Entire staff is awesome! (Ms Diana ❤️ and Mrs Karen ❤️)They really understand how your feeling as most are in recovery also. If your looking for some help please give them a call. I give them 10+stars. Five months sober now!!! Thank you Coastal!!!
Bob Hawkins
Bob Hawkins
2022-05-04
Verified
The entire staff of Coastal is great, the therapists, the nurses, the techs, everyone. It’s a great environment to begin your recovery in. As an added perk, the food is some of the best you’ll ever have thanks to the chefs.
Tony Givens
Tony Givens
2022-05-04
Verified
My experience at coastal detox was very good, the staff there is terrific. They helped me get through the process of detox in a safe and professional manor.
Jodi Silverman Goldberg
Jodi Silverman Goldberg
2022-03-21
Verified
It been almost a year!! Thank y’all
Matthew Mcnulty
Matthew Mcnulty
2022-03-07
Verified
This is the top tier Rehab/Detox center in Southeast FL. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. Their attention to detail is impressive. They specialize in treating alcohol abuse among several other conditions. If you or a loved one are looking for a blueprint on how to sober up…Coastal Detox will lead you there.
Mary Katz
Mary Katz
2022-02-26
Verified
My experience with Coastal has been one of empathy, kindness and family. From Admissions to Nurses to techs I have never felt so cared for. Food and drink 24/7. Coastal is a place I went twice. First time 14 days next 6days later for another 11. At 59 and umpteen detoxes Coastal by far is Heaven Sent! As a Nutritionist and Trainer, I'm so happy to be back....the Mary ,who was lost:)
vicky ehr
vicky ehr
2022-01-29
Verified
Great place . Helped me so much I am a 64 year old woman and this place got me sober with dignity and kindness. I highly recommend it plus the food is incredible. Rooms are really well laid out. 2 guys to a room . Each bed has its own t.v with head sets so you dont bother your roomate. Take an extra pillow and comfort blanket from home. At least 3 pairs of pj’ s sock and shoes and comfortable clothing fit. You do your own laundry there. I will send you the link to look at. After thinking all morning this is hands down the place for you. Lots of young people and fantastic therapists. For my wonderful son who suffers. From addiction the way I do.

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