Alcohol / Drug Abuse
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Alcohol/Drug Abuse and Violence

Alcohol is one of several factors that often contribute to the circumstances in which marital violence occurs.  It may be used as an excuse for violence, and it may trigger arguments that lead to violence.  But, contrary to conventional beliefs, it is not necessarily a direct cause of violence, and therefore, does not help to explain the causes of wife beating.. (Del Martin, author of Battered Wives)

Contrary to many believes, abuse by a loved one remains a matter of deliberate choice.  Research has shown that when the batterer is under the influence of drugs or alcohol during a battering event, the abuser is not .out of control. (Bennett).

Alcohol and/or drug use can increase the risk of violence; however, studies show that substance abuse is not a factor in the majority of battering episodes.  Seventy-six percent (86% of family violence incidences occur without the use of alcohol (Kantor).

Violence when accompanied by drugs and/or alcohol use can increase the risk to a victim by:

  • Increasing the batterers need for power and control.

  • Receiving more serious injuries and/or being sexually assaulted.

  • Providing an excuse for the violence.

  • Allowing the victim to believe that without the drug or alcohol, the violence with stop (Bennett).