Most experts agree that domestic abuse occurs because the abuser either has 1) control issues, or 2) drug and alcohol abuse issues. Here, I explore The effect that drug abuse, specifically cocaine and alcohol, has on the long-lived societal problem of domestic abuse.
According to the FBI, every 11 seconds a woman is beaten. The CDC states that “a woman is in nine times more danger in her home than on the streets.” Statistics also show that 92% of reported domestic abuse instances involved drugs or alcohol. That is a very important statistic to take note of.
Cocaine is a very serious drug. It alters the mind in ways that are not fully understood by science yet. Long term affects of cocaine use include paranoia, irritability, and mood disturbances. These effects can cause even the nicest person to become violent in certain situations. It can create a chemical imbalance in the brain that will cause someone to take actions that are not characteristic of their true personality.
Many people don’t know that their family or friends are doing cocaine, or other drugs, until a difficult situation, or an outburst occurs. This is the situation of which many domestically abused women (and men) are victims. They have no idea that their spouse or significant other is using a mind-altering drug until it’s too late. So when domestic violence occurs, there is a shock value that ensues and is confusing. The violent actions will only increase and continue as long as the abuser is using the mind-altering drug.
Alcohol abuse is traditionally associated with domestic abuse: Dad gets drunk and then hurts Mom. But why is this the case? Here is a helpful article, on “Symptoms of Alcoholism, Signs You’re an Alcoholic“.
Alcohol removes inhibitions. It makes people carefree and loose in their actions towards others. So in some cases, someone may get drunk and say things to their significant other that are hurtful. For someone with a history of abuse, that exchange will often lead to violence.
Also, alcohol is a depressant, meaning that it has an even greater (negative) effect on a person who is already stressed, depressed, or unhappy. So if an already unhappy spouse has his (or her) mood worsened by an excess of alcohol, a violent scene is more likely to unfold. Especially since he or she has a loss of inhibition.
It is important for victims of domestic violence to understand the source of their abuse. Their partners may not be horrible people when there are sober, but it is only when they have a drink or a “hit” that they turn into a completely different person. If at all possible, those people should be encouraged to get help for their problem. But if they refuse, victims should take serious steps towards leaving the situation for their own safety and well-being. Just because you have identified the source of the abuser’s problem doesn’t mean that you have to put up with it.
National Domestic Violence Hotline