Domestic violence and substance abuse


Substance abuse regarding with domestic violence is a very high risk amongst families. Either partner drinking can be a risk into violence, in which neither can hold their own actions. Being under the influence is the imbalance of your body fluids, so one's actions can't be controlled easily. When families endure this violence of substance abuse it can put a heavy burden or give a positive outlook towards other to turn away from it. Children are at big risk towards substance to either to follow or build up a lot of anger within each other.

Domestic Violence And Substance Abuse

In sample researches men from a domestic violence treatment program as it was found that marital violence was eight times more likely to occur on a day when the man had used alcohol than on a nondrinking day (Fals-Stewart, 2003). Drugs other than alcohol are also linked to partner violence (Kantor & Straus, 1989). In a study of 151 court-referred batterers, 53% had used marijuana and 24% had used cocaine during the past year (Moore & Stuart, 2004). A substantial number of these substance users were regular consumers, with almost one in four (23%) using marijuana at least four times a week. In addition to differentiating between substance use and abuse, the effect of alcohol needs to be partitioned from drug use since most users of illegal drugs also use legal drugs, including alcohol. Controlling for the effects of alcohol use, (Moore and Stuart (2004)) found that drug use behavior remained an independent predictor of partner violence.

A widespread of what amount to intimate partner violence(IPV) and what could be the consequences for the victim, comes from a university research study ( Campbell 1995)., who says that repeated verbal abuse, such as blaming, ridiculing, insulting , swearing, yelling and humiliation, have long-term negative effects on a woman's self-esteem and contributes to feeling of uselessness, worthlessness, and self blame. Threatening to kill or physically harm a female partner, her children, other family members or pets establishes dominance and coercive power on the part of the abuser. As to my knowledge the female partner feels extreme terror, vulnerability, and powerlessness within the relationship. An abused woman can feel helpless and isolated, as jealousy, possessiveness, and interrogation about whereabouts' and activities are controlling behaviors that can severely restrict a female partner's independence and freedom; this social and financial isolation may leave her dependent upon her abuser for social contact, money, and the necessities of life. (Campbell 1995) states Emotional abuse can have serious physical and psychological consequences for women, including severe depression, anxiety, persistent headaches, back and limb problems, and stomach disorders.

Alcohol abuse in the spouse was a primary cause of the presence and severity of abuse. Alcoholism is associated with numerous ills, as the increase of violence not only domestic but causes inadequate parenting, sexual dysfunction, general domestic discord and aggression. Men with alcohol problems have to be a higher rate of violence against their wives and that they tend to inflict more frequent and injurious assaults, other than a man who does not abuse alcohol. Stated by (Johnson 2001) “that it's not definitively that alcohol because domestic violence, it has consistently emerged as a risk factor for partner abuse in studies that have specifically considered its contribution”.

A study was shown that martially aggressive men were younger, exhibited more binge drinking, more verbal aggression, greater alcohol problem severity, earlier alcohol problem onset and stronger beliefs that alcohol causes marital problems. Domestic violence is more likely to occur particularly among younger men and men with an early onset of alcoholism. A researcher states that loneliness was related to marital attitudes, particularly less liking, less intimacy, and greater communication apprehension among husbands.

In example an experience of intimate partner violence and its mental health consequences are quite prevalent in India which is a culture where gender differences are normative observed (Varma 2007). Wife murders in India is said to take place for economic reason, that Hindu men abandon or divorce their wives, or commit bigamy. To the researcher Rastogi and therly (2006) comment that dowry is exchanged in a majority of Indian weddings among all social classes, although its practice became illegal in 1961. Families of the bride and groom negotiate transfer of assets to the groom and his family in exchange for marrying the bride, often within the context of an arranged marriage. Dissatisfaction with the amount of dowry may result in abuse of the bride.

There is psychological distress among these women was most strongly associated with lower satisfaction with the martial relationship, presence of domestic violence, lower frequency of male partner's drinking, lower perceived social support from family, and more frequent attempts to cope with the partner's drinking. A higher degree of sexual coercion has been also reported by the wives of alcoholics. Sexual identity conflicts and unhealthy sexual and intimacy attitudes in such couples have been reported by Coleman (1987).

A study was shown seven focus groups were conducted between August and December of 2002. Participants included counselors. Clinical supervisors and administrators recruited from New York State-licensed substance abuse treatment programs. A staff member from the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Service of New York State recruited participants by telephoning program administrators to ask them to send a staff member to a focus group on IPV. Participants were recruited from methadone maintenance, residential, and outpatient day treatment programs. Two groups were conducted with counselors from residential programs. The results were seven focus groups with 41 staff members from 40 unique substance abuse treatment programs in New York City and Long Island, New York were conducted between August and December of 2002. Participants were mainly women.

Families where substance abuse occurs and families where woman abuse occurs often share characteristics: intergenerational transmission of the problem, frequent crisis states, the abuser blaming the partner for his behavior, the abuser forgetting details of the episode, isolation of the non abusive partner, retarded emotional development in the family, impulsiveness and low self-esteem among other family members, loss of control used as a coping mechanism, and a short-term payoff in tension reduction (Rogan 1985-1986). Another confounding factor is victim intoxication and drug dependency. In cases of severe violence, there is little relationship between the victim's drinking and battering. Even when controlling for alcohol problems in the male partner, however, alcoholic women receive greater levels of physical and verbal abuse than nonalcoholic women (Miller, Downs, & Gondoli, 1989). A woman using drugs or alcohol increases the likelihood that she will be battered, increases the likelihood that her male partner will also be drinking when he batters her, and increases her chances of physical injury.

The substance abuse programs for battered woman uses treatment report rates of childhood sexual abuse and intimate partner violence that far exceed those reported by woman in general population. The use or abuse of marijuana may be related to IPV in drug supportive environments or in environments where marijuana users are under daily stress due to lower social status and lack of income to support one's family. Individuals, who live in poverty, face racial discrimination, and face low wages and lack of advancement due to dropping out of high school live in a very stressful environment where the struggle of daily survival may take its toll, as social structural theory of violence argues (Cunradi et al. 2002). Studies have found that women living in poverty are particularly vulnerable to and have much higher rates of IPV victimization. Also, unemployed batterers and high school dropouts are more likely to commit injury-related IPV (Cunradi et al. 2002; Kyriacou et al. 1999; Johnson 2000, 2001). Women with lower family incomes often face additional challenges, such as lack of child-care, job skills, high school degree, which make them more dependent on their abuser. Individuals having a low social status may also turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the daily stress, which in turn produces stress by using their limited money for self-medication rather than to support their family.

In conclusion the study of substance abuse is very high risk in martial couples. As different cultures have different roles in marriage domestic violence is still high. Not just alcohol is a substance, but also drug abuse is also a factor.


  • Behavioral couples therapy for drug-abusing patients: Effects on partner violence; Fals-Stewart, W.; Kashdan, M.; O'Farrell, T. J.; Birchler, G. R. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment; 2002 Vol. 22, 10p.

  • The occurrence of partner physical aggression on days of alcohol consumption: A longitudinal diary study; Fals-Stewart, W. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology; 2003 Vol. 71, 12p.

  • Drug abuse and partner violence among women in methadone treatment; El-Bassel, N.; Gilbert, L.; Schilling, RF; Wada, T. J Fam Viol; 2000 Vol. 15, 20p.

  • Addressing intimate partner violence in substance-abuse treatment; Fals-Stewart, W.; Kennedy, C. J Subst Abuse Treat; 2005 Vol. 29, p5-17, 13p.