How Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse Are Connected
“Domestic violence and substance abuse are intimately linked and often occur simultaneously. They are related much in the same way that co-occurring mental disorders like depression and anxiety are linked to increased drug use and vice versa. Often one is a symptom of the other, and in many cases, they go hand in hand. Yet while they’re intertwined, one doesn’t always precede the other. Abusing drugs doesn’t always spur aggressors to physical or emotional violence, and being a victim of abuse doesn’t necessarily lead to an overindulgence in dangerous substances. But when domestic violence and drug use happen together, they wreak havoc on everyone involved.
“Longitudinal studies from the American Psychological Association, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and countless other organizations reveal a distinct relationship between the two issues and show how they can co-occur. But regardless of which issue is present first, drug use and acts of violence only exacerbate each other’s effects.”