Domestic violence is when you exhibit abusive behavior to gain or maintain power and control over your intimate partner. Domestic violence can fall under emotional, physical, psychological, sexual, or financial abuse. According to Addiction Center, 80% of domestic violence cases are related to drugs. When people on drugs or alcohol, it causes them to be aggressive and have low impulse control, causing them to hurt the ones they love and not be able to stop.
Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs can make you lose control of your inhibitors and increase the chances of abusive behaviors. Domestic violence can also be non-violent actions such as calling the other person hateful names, stalking, invading their personal space, making threats, or neglecting the other person.
Chemicals in their brains are rewired when abusers are on drugs or alcohol to make them seek the substance, using irrational, violent, and controlling ways of getting it. Stimulants can cause paranoia which can motivate extreme behaviors. It can be dangerous as well if both people are intoxicated because that person would not be able to tell if they are in danger, cannot defend themselves, or call for help.
Because they are afraid of physical, emotional, or financial retaliation, these attacks can go unreported. Abusers will blame the drugs or alcohol on their behavior and feel remorseful not knowing what they did. If they continue to blame substances on their behavior, they can commit irreversible damage to the ones they love and the cycle of violence will never stop. The victim can end up under the influence to better cope with the violence they face.
It is important to receive help not just in domestic violence but in substance abuse in order to find the root to the problem. For the safety of yourself and others, you need to escape the situation no matter how much you may love the person hurting you. It does not matter if that person apologizes every time. Apologies are worthless if they are not willing to get help. The therapist needs to ask the abuser when exactly the violence occurs, how much violent behavior occurs while drinking or doing drugs, what substances are used, what causes the abuser to take substances, and if you are using drugs or alcohol to escape the violence at home. For advice and support if you are in a domestic violence situation, contact 1-800-799-SAFE.
Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle believes in helping patients lead a life of abstinence through 12 Step programs, detox and medical treatment, psychotherapy, and complementary therapies. For more information, please call 041-214-5111. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-214-5111.
Last updated & clinically assessed 30 March, 2022