The Connection Between Domestic Abuse and Addiction: How Toxic Relationships Lead to Addiction

Around 60% of people are willing to stay in unfulfilling and unsatisfying relationships. This willingness to stay in bad relationships results in abusive relationships forming.

Abuse isn’t always physical, although, that is what we think of. Other types include psychological, emotional, verbal, sexual or financial. Manipulation can hit several categories at once and is common in abusive situations.

What’s more alarming, most cases of domestic abuse involve drug use. A great deal of evidence exists to correlate abuse and addiction.

It is not currently understood which one might cause the other. But the two tend to coexist in a parasitic time bomb which will lead to the ultimate destruction of lives.

Drug Addiction

We have a rather troubling history with drug problems. At times, our societies have locked people away who needed help with addictions. At other times, we prescribe medications people don’t actually need.

This can result in a person being addicted to prescription medications such as Adderall. But, because they are wired from a stimulant they didn’t need, they cannot relax.

A sleeping pill may be prescribed or the user may turn to cannabidiols.

This does not underscore those who need medicines to function and take them in proper doses.

Fortunately, we understand drug addiction now much better than we did even 3 decades ago. We know what happens among chemicals in the brain.

A drug creates a pleasant, interesting or numbing sensation in the brain. Or it may alter the senses in some way. But it ends up producing hormones which our brain registers as pleasure.

Because of this pleasure, our brain seeks it out again. But, as we all know, we form tolerances to drugs as we develop addictions. Each time we use, it requires more for the same effects.

In the long run, this can cause an overdose. But there is more to this story.

People often receive high concentrations and pure forms of drugs. This can happen in hospitals.

You have major surgery and receive medical grade pain relievers. These contain the same substances as many drugs, but somehow don’t result in new addicts.

The untold side of drug use has to do with the rest of a person’s life. In particular, interpersonal relationships seem to be a major factor.

But more on this later. For now, let’s take a look at abusive relationships.

Domestic Violence

Healthy Relationships

This about a good friend giving you a hug, buying your groceries, listening to you or encouraging you. Do you feel kind of warm and fuzzy? You may, or you might think about how happy that would make you.

Why do you feel that way? You feel that way because you are comfortable with that person. You know they did something kind for you with zero strings attached.

This is what a healthy relationship feels like. You might cry at the gesture, whatever it could be, but you are genuinely grateful.

Stranger Danger

But let’s flip the script. Have you ever received that kind of affection from someone you weren’t comfortable around? A hug from someone you don’t know, leaves you feeling odd.

A letter of encouragement or a surprise visit from someone you don’t know can creep you out. Now, if you can combine these two feelings into one, you’ll have something else completely.

Dangerous Waters of Abuse

Ever had a friend who listened to your problems and gave you a hug and you felt better? But later, they reminded you of the time(s) they did something nice for you. In many cases, they do this to get you to do something for them.

All of a sudden, their kindness had a price tag. Some people do these kind things over and over and build up your dependence upon their kindness. Then, when they see you are an addict-hooked (like on a drug), they take it away.

This is an abusive relationship. The abuser will give tastes of kindness and generosity, but always at a cost. They give and take whenever and whatever they wish.

At the end of the day, an abused person ends up hooked on the abuser’s kindness. Most of the time they spend with them is miserable. But, those few and fleeting moments give such a rush of euphoria, the brain is hooked.

Abuse and Addiction

It should come as no surprise, then, that domestic violence and drug abuse come together. Addicts poison every relationship they are in with their drug use. This leads their drug use to be the one positive experience they get to have.

And therein lies the problem. Drug users, like all other people, need satisfaction and joy in their lives. If they don’t feel like they have anything to bring them pleasure, drug use tends to spiral out of control.

And since victims of abuse become addicted to their abusers, it creates a vicious cycle. Abuse victims can’t leave abusers because that is their total supply of happiness.

Instead, victims of abuse may turn to drugs. As stated above, almost all cases of domestic violence involve drugs somehow. This is, of course, a huge mistake.

The person becomes addicted not only to their abuser but also to drugs. Also as stated above, drug use poisons all the relationships an addict has. This further drives the victim of abuse into isolation.

Their drugs give them most of the pleasure they experience. And their abuser provides pain with occasional pleasure.

Thus, they spend their life high to avoid pain or in pain from their abuse. And they also have brief times of pleasure when their abuser gives them kindness.

Finding Healing

Abuse and addition both require therapy and outside help. There should be no surprise to find strong correlations of drug use with domestic abuse.

But, while both take work to overcome, they aren’t as impossible as they seem. People want to help you and are available to aid in overcoming any addiction.

If you want help or want to know how to help someone else, don’t stay quiet. Get in touch with us here, to see how we can help you.

Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B Avatar
    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
    1/16/2020
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/13/2019
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/06/2019

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