Abuse and Addiction

Substance Abuse, Physical and Emotional Abuse

According to the Center for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University in conjunction with the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Violence Prevention, interpersonal violence and substance abuse pose major health problems. There is a strong relationship between substance abuse, victimization and the perpetrator of violence. Substance abuse can minimize and distort rational thinking processes and lower naturally occurring behavioral inhibitors. The issuing paper: “Interpersonal violence and illicit drugs,” defines interpersonal violence as the intentional use of physical or coercive behavior against another. These include:

  • Violence committed by young people
  • Child maltreatment
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Elder abuse
  • Sexual violence

Aggressive behavior toward strangers while under the influence of substances can also be included in this group. The irony is that victims who use substances stand a greater chance of experiencing violence; and victims who experience violence often use substances as a coping mechanism. Perpetrators may use substances to help themselves feel powerful and exert control over others but may themselves have been victims of violence originally turning to substances as a means to cope with trauma.

While there is a link between substance abuse and interpersonal violence, new research indicates that those who engage in violence against others have underlying psychological issues that are not necessarily induced by substance abuse alone.

A 2010 study, first published in the August edition of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology and summarized in an article published by the University of British Columbia, examined personalities of both men and women perpetrators of violence. The researchers found that three subtypes exist in both men and women:

  • Antisocial
  • Dysphoric (high levels of anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders)
  • Low Pathology (those violent with intimate relationships)

There have been numerous research studies indicating a serious link connecting substance abuse, aggression against others and suicidal thoughts or attempts. If you suffer from aggressive behavior, physical abuse, or emotional trauma, don’t let substance abuse accelerate or worsen the situation.

Treatment Alternatives can help you deal with impact of trauma on your life as well as alter your destructive and self- defeating thinking and behavioral patterns. Substance abuse and mental health disorders in combination often require interventions simultaneously. Get the help you need now.

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