Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in a relationship that is used by a partner to gain and maintain control over the other person. When combines with alcohol, domestic violence can quickly and easily escalate into a very dangerous situation.
The link between alcohol consumption and domestic violence is not a new or shocking connection. The feelings of anger, hostility, aggression, and violence associated with alcohol abuse are heightened in an already capable person.
Does Alcohol Cause Domestic Violence?
There really is not any proof that alcoholism causes domestic violence. Domestic violence is learned and not something that that naturally occurs. However, if a spouse is already abusive in nature and is dependent upon alcohol, generally the abuse will worsen. Alcohol does affect the person’s ability to perceive, integrate and process information.
This misrepresentation in the user’s thinking does not cause violence but may increase the risk that the user will misinterpret their partner’s behavior often leading to the person being more likely to lash out over small things.
On the flip side of this, the victim of domestic violence is also much more likely to fall victim to alcoholism as a way to escape from the pain they are feeling. According to SAMHSA:
Substance use (e.g., smoking, excessive alcohol use, and taking drugs), mental health conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety, or PTSD), and other risky behaviors (e.g., self-injury and risky sexual encounters) have been linked with traumatic experiences.
Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism to numb the abuse and the trauma caused by it. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. This means it lessens anxiety and the body’s natural reaction to stress, temporarily relieving the feelings. A violent domestic relationship is a perfect concoction for a person to become dependent on alcohol, becoming an alcoholic.
How Can You Tell if Someone You Know is Part of Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence can be difficult to see if it starts little by little, especially if your partner starts out as a loving supporting person. Domestic violence can include:
- Physical abuse
- Forced sex
- Emotional abuse
- Forced isolation from family and friends
- Threats to hurt you or your family to keep control
- Destroy your personal property
- Psychological abuse
- Verbal abuse
When domestic violence and alcoholism coincide with each other, it is very important to treat both sides in an integrated manner. Domestic abuse often leads to other problems such as anxiety, depression, and even PTSD. Likely you would first address the alcoholism in the form of detox, medical detox is the best route.
We are Here to Help with Your Addiction Problem
Once a medical detox has completed, getting into a dual diagnosis treatment program is the best option. Here at Recreate Life Counseling, we have a program that specifically addresses the issues that dual diagnosis patients face. We offer the help of physicians, psychiatrists, and therapists who specialize in both alcoholism/addiction recovery and mental health treatment. Our programs are structured to help patients recover from alcoholism in a way that coincides with their mental health treatment. We offer science-based methods for bothering therapy and alcoholism treatment like cognitive behavioral therapy, individual and group counseling, and holistic therapy.
Alcoholism and the long-lasting effects of domestic violence are not an easy thing to face and it is extremely important to face them head-on. You do not have to face this on your own. Our admissions counselors and professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the disease of alcoholism. Now is the time to change your life. Let us help you do it!