Statistics seem to indicate a connection between alcohol and drug abuse and domestic violence, but some researchers question the cause-and-effect relationship.
Studies of domestic violence frequently document high rates of alcohol and other drug (AOD) involvement, and AOD use is known to impair judgment, reduce inhibition, and increase aggression. Alcoholism and child abuse, including incest, seem connected also.
On the surface it seems hard to argue with the numbers. Ninety-two percent of the domestic abuse assailants reported use of alcohol or other drugs on the day of the assault, according to a recent JAMA report.
Another study shows that the percentage of batterers who are under the influence of alcohol when they assault their partners ranges from 48 percent to 87 percent, with most research indicating a 60 to 70 percent rate of alcohol abuse and a 13 to 20 percent rate of drug abuse.
Battering is a socially learned behavior, and is not the result of substance abuse or mental illness, advocacy groups claim. "Men who batter frequently use alcohol abuse as an excuse for their violence. They attempt to rid themselves of responsibility for the problem by blaming it on the effects of alcohol," they say.
Alcohol does not and cannot make a man abuse a woman, but it is frequently used as an excuse. Many men drink and do not abuse anyone as a result. On the other hand many men abuse women when they are sober. It can be easier for some men and for some women to believe that the violence would not have happened if a drink had not been taken.
It's part of the denial process. Alcoholism and battering do share some similar characteristics -- both may be passed from generation to generation, both involve denial or minimization of the problem; both involve isolation of the family.
While Alcohol abuse may not be the cause for domestic violence, it does usually lead to the destruction of the family unit. That in its self should be enough to get help in stopping the alcohol abuse.
If you find that you want to stop your alcohol abuse, contact us at Above It All Treatment and Recovery Center and we will design a personal program with you in mind. This will start you on the road to an alcohol free life and assist in the rebuilding of your family unit.