October is a Month of Awareness and Prevention

octoberOctober is Domestic Violence Awareness month. It’s also Substance Abuse Prevention Month.

Two areas that recently have become issues very close to my heart.

In up to half of all cases of domestic violence, alcohol is involved. Even the abuer is sober, if he (or she) is an alcoholic, the abuse is (1) much more likely to occur and (2) likely to be much more violent. The Department of Justice states that about 61 percent of domestic violence offenders also have problems with alcohol or drug abuse.

Does Substance Abuse Cause Domestic Violence? 

Substance abuse, whether drugs or alcohol,  has not been proven to cause domestic violence. While substance abuse was a factor in domestic violence, it was not the only factor. Another important factor is having experienced or witnessed domestic violence as a child.

There are sober abusers who still engage in violence. Substance Abuse alone does not cause the violence.

Treatment Options

Many perpetrators of violence quickly find themselves on the wrong side of the law, and as a result,are required to attend drug treatment programs and domestic violence therapy that focus on providing them with crucial information about the impact of domestic violence. The goal is to help these patients get both issues under control because certainly, if both are in evidence, both must be addressed in order to provide the person with better coping skills going forward.

Additionally, the trauma experienced by victims of domestic violence can lead to a wide range of mental illnesses that will require treatment.

Two of the most common results of domestic violence, among both men and women, are substance abuse and eating disorders. In an effort to regain control over their lives and to drown out the pain and fear that comes with chronic violence and attack, many victims try to manage their feelings by taking control of their eating choices, binge eat, or overindulge in alcohol or other substances.

It’s important that the trauma and any concurrently occurring disorders are addressed. The sooner the better when it comes to healing and moving forward.

If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence, know there support teams to help- people who genuinely care.

If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction or you fear the usage might be escalating, reach out to someone you can trust.

Do your best to get them help before there is an escalation in violence or substance abuse. Sometimes letting go, stepping up and stopping assistance is the best way to show someone you love them.

Always remember to put on your oxygen mask first- becoming obsessive about getting someone help when they don’t want it could mean you forgetting about your own self-care and creating a bigger distance between you and your loved on.

Sending all those who may be victims and users all the light, love and strength you need. You’re not alone. <3