Alcohol addiction and domestic violence are two serious conditions that may occur together. However, it’s important to know that alcohol abuse or addiction does not directly cause domestic violence. Rather, it may escalate or fuel an already violent person. Struggling with an alcohol use disorder and domestic violence can be difficult and often requires professional treatment. Vertava Health offers treatment programs at many of its facilities that help individuals heal from both alcohol use disorders and the trauma of domestic violence.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is when someone willfully harms an intimate partner as part of a pattern of power and control. Domestic violence can be physical or sexual assault, battery, psychological violence, emotional abuse, or any other abusive behavior towards an intimate partner.
Domestic violence situations can vary drastically. For example, someone may only abuse his or her loved one once a month, while someone else may act violently towards his or her loved one on a daily basis. The one aspect of domestic violence that remains consistent in all instances is the continual pattern of control and power.
Violence within a relationship is an epidemic that does not discriminate based on demographics. Domestic violence occurs in every race, nationality, religion, and gender.
In many cases, it may be difficult or impossible to determine if a partner is going to become violent. Many individuals who go on to commit domestic abuse begin a relationship as a charming, perfect partner. However, as the relationship progresses, the need for control causes individuals to begin abusing his or her partner.
Aside from physical and sexual violence, domestic abuse can include a number of other abusive tendencies. These may include:
- controlling all of the money in the household
- threatening to kill the loved one’s family, friends, or pets
- shaming or embarrassing the victim
- controlling how the victim looks or dresses
- intimidating the victim with weapons
- stalking the victim when he or she goes anywhere
- discouraging the victim from seeing family or friends
These are just a few of the many ways in which a person can domestically abuse a loved one. When combined with alcohol abuse or addiction, domestic abuse and violence can quickly and dangerously escalate. Consequences of domestic violence can include physical injury, emotional trauma, and even death.
How Alcohol Abuse And Addiction Are Related To Domestic Violence
Alcohol abuse or addiction and domestic violence often go hand in hand. However, domestic violence is not directly caused by alcohol abuse; rather, it may be fueled by intoxication. While domestic violence is not caused by substance abuse, there is a direct correlation between these two conditions.
When someone is under the influence of alcohol, he or she is much more likely to lose control of his or her behavior and inhibitions. This can make individuals who are prone to violence much more likely to act on violent thoughts or urges. As a result, someone who may otherwise be able to control violent tendencies will be more likely to behave in a violent way when intoxicated.
Both alcohol addiction and domestic violence share certain symptoms, including:
- continued participation in the behavior despite unwanted consequences
- feelings of guilt and/or shame as a result of the behaviors
- lying about or denying involvement in the behaviors
- loss of control
- worsening of the conditions over time
The risk of dangerous consequences increases when alcohol abuse and domestic violence are combined. Someone who is under the influence of alcohol may be unable to see the harm he or she is causing to the victim. Additionally, if a victim is intoxicated, it can make it difficult for him or her to seek help.
Getting Help For Domestic Violence And Alcohol Addiction
An estimated 55 percent of people who commit domestic abuse were drinking. Additionally, women who experience domestic violence are up to 15 times more likely to abuse alcohol. The prominent role that alcohol abuse and addiction plays in instances of domestic violence shows just how closely these two conditions are related.
The key to finding freedom from both domestic violence and alcohol addiction is to treat both conditions rather than just one. Treatment programs are available to help both the person partaking in domestic violence as well as the victim. Several programs offered by Vertava Health focus on helping individuals heal from domestic abuse as well as overcome an alcohol use disorder.
Individuals who are victims of domestic violence and suffer from alcohol addiction often find the most success in residential treatment programs. This type of treatment provides a safe place where patients can focus on recovery without the fear of the abusive loved one interfering. Additionally, many programs that focus on trauma and domestic abuse recovery are gender-specific, allowing patients to feel more comfortable and safe.
To learn more about how alcohol use disorders and domestic violence are related or to seek treatment for one or both of these conditions, contact an Vertava Health’ treatment specialist today.