Addiction to drugs and alcohol changes a person. That person may be you, or it may be a family member or someone you live with. It can cause people to act violently and out of character. It’s no surprise that there is a clear link between domestic abuse and addiction. The fact is that no matter if you are on the receiving end or the one who turns abusing under the influence, something needs to change.
Domestic Abuse and Addiction. What You Need to Know.
The bottom line is that no one should ever hit another person. There is no situation where it is correct or acceptable, under any circumstances. It can be especially scary when domestic abuse and addiction go hand in hand because you simply never know what you are going to get.
Imagine the scenario where a young woman is married to a man who drinks liquor and has anger issues when he does. This guy is the nicest, sweetest man in the world when he is sober, but when he is drinking he blacks out and screams at, belittles, and antagonizes his wife. On occasion, he has even hit her, causing numerous bruises.
This woman has no idea what she is up for any time she opens her front door. Will it be the man who loves her and pampers her, or his alter ego monster? The man himself doesn’t understand his own actions. He is profusely apologetic when he is sober and showers her with kindness, love, and affection. When he is drunk, it is like he isn’t there. The women keep excusing him saying he will quit drinking one day, but she lives in fear every day of her life.
If a situation like this sounds familiar, you need to get out and get help. Being the victim of domestic violence can cause a whole range of issues for you, including but not limited to:
- Addiction. Abuse is a form of trauma, and trauma has a direct link to addiction. Many times, victims of abuse pick up drugs or alcohol as a way of coping with the physical pain and mental suffering they face.
- Compromised safety. Abuse is serious, especially if the person gets into a state where they aren’t aware of their own actions. You could be severely beaten, injured, or even killed if you continue to put yourself in that situation.
- You may develop a mood disorder. Or, abuse will heighten an already existing issue like anxiety or depression. This too is linked closely to addiction, so if you stay in an abusive situation, you may end up on the road of both a mood disorder and an addiction issue.
- Your quality of life will suffer. Home should be your safe space. It should be where you can relax and completely be at ease and yourself. If you are scared to be at home, the rest of your life will begin to suffer. Your work performance will decline, and relationships will take a proverbial beating.
There are statistics to support how dangerous domestic abuse and addiction really is. Violence at home is a leading cause of injury to young women. It is more common than car accidents, theft, and rape combined. A Department of Justice study from 1994 showed that over 50% of people who were accused of murdering their spouses were drinking at the time of the crime. Women are more commonly the victims of abuse because they are, in general, smaller and less able to defend themselves. Also, men tend to be more prone to anger issues.
Drugs and alcohol are frequently present in cases of domestic violence. Alcohol is one of the biggest problems. Even when an alcoholic is sober, they are more likely than a non-alcoholic to act aggressively towards their spouse. About 60% of domestic violence offenders have some sort of addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Often, the person being abused is also an alcoholic or drug addict. This makes them less likely to report the crime.
No matter what the situation is, violence is never acceptable anywhere, let alone at home. When it comes to domestic abuse and addiction, help needs to be sought for both problems in the form of anger management and rehab for drugs or alcohol.