We know drug abuse is bad and we want everyone to get treatment so they can live a healthy, productive life. But people with drug and alcohol addictions cause problems in many other people’s lives as well as their own. A drunken father doesn’t always suffer in silence and leave his family alone. Quite often, he will commit crimes against his family, either physical or mental abuse of his wife or children. A man or woman high on drugs is likely to lash out at their partner, and many domestic crimes have been committed while one or both partners are high on drugs.
The Connection Between Drugs and Domestic Violence
While not all drug addicts and alcoholics are violent toward their partner or kids, almost 80% of domestic violence crimes have a connection to drugs. Therefore, a big part of the solution to domestic abuse is to address the underlying substance abuse. If we can identify substance abusers and get them help, we will also decrease domestic violence.
A person that abuses drugs or alcohol loses control of their lives. Judgment gets cloudy, rational thinking goes out the window, and what they know is wrong when they are sober doesn’t seem so bad then whey are high.
It happens like this: A person has been drinking again and stumbles home in a stupor. They just want to be left alone; they don’t want to cause trouble or hurt anyone again. But the minute they walk in the door, they are agitated because the alcohol has left them feeling irritable. Then, something sets them off – maybe it is a mess their kids left, or something their spouse said – and they lose control. Once they’ve hurt someone once or twice, it’s going to happen again. The bar has been lowered, and each reaction will be as bad, or worse, than the one before.
Domestic Violence Affects People for Life
We may think, what a terrible way for people to live, but domestic violence due to substance abuse happens to so many people, and it stays with them for the rest of their lives. Children that have witnessed domestic violence are often insecure and struggle with school, friends, and relationships as they get older. Partners that are abused often feel forced to stay in the relationship, constantly exposing themselves and possibly children to the abuse for months or years. Even the abusers are living a life they don’t want.
The obvious solution is to get help for those with substance addiction. But this is not so easy, especially when the abused partner feels silenced because of the violence. We need to educate people on the help that is out there for those being abused, as well as for the abuser, because with the right kind of help, these people can turn their lives around.