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Substance abuse and domestic violence are both unfortunate realties of modern society. Both are common, affecting thousands of Coloradans annually.
In fact, many times these two problems occur together, as both domestic violence victims and perpetrators are often substance abusers.
So, what is the link between the two things?
The short answer is that it’s complicated. However, research has shown that substance abusers are more likely to become victims or perpetrators of domestic violence. Moreover, these two problems have many common causative factors, meaning that it’s likely for domestic violence and substance abuse to occur in the same household.
Below, we examine the many links between substance abuse and domestic violence.
Many studies have shown that victims of domestic violence are much more likely to be substance abusers. There are a few explanations for this link:
In addition to the link between domestic violence victimization and substance use, domestic violence cases also become more complicated when the victim is intoxicated at the time of the assault. The victim may not remember crucial details of the domestic assault, or may blame themselves for being intoxicated and decide not to report the attack.
The links between criminality and drug abuse are well-known. Drug abusers are especially likely to commit violent crimes, including domestic violence.
Why is this?
There are several factors that may make drug users more likely to commit domestic violence:
Additionally, many factors trigger both substance abuse and domestic violence. The fact that these two problems have common roots is yet another reason that they are likely to occur together.
Common roots for substance abuse and domestic violence include:
The take-home message here?
It’s clear that the links between domestic violence and substance abuse are deep and complex. Recognizing this link could lead to improved treatment and prevention of both problems.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.