Whether we like it or not, we live in a world where violence is a fact of life. People from every gender, racial and economic class experience it in its many forms. People living with addiction are far more likely than the average to suffer a violent encounter, both as victims and perpetrators, especially domestic violence.
It is important to understand that addiction does not cause violence. Instead, alcohol and drug use do create circumstances where violence may be more likely to happen. People under the influence have lower inhibitions. In some cases, especially with the use of hallucinogens and amphetamines, people might experience psychotic symptoms. Their emotional responses might be exaggerated. Their ability to control impulsive behavior can be compromised. According to the Psychiatric Times, 75% of people entering addiction treatment report having been engaged in violent behavior.
Responding to Violence
Violence is a response to a situation in which the perpetrator is trying to control the circumstances or the people involved. In an intimate relationship, it is often based on the fear of abandonment. Many people respond to fear with anger and in people without coping skills can become physically violent. Outside of intimate relationships, violence might be based on the perpetrator feeling powerless. Whatever the reason, violence is not an acceptable way to deal with the world or the people in your life.
If someone in your life is experiencing violence and addiction, they need to get help immediately. Both addiction and violence are cyclical problems. People who are violent when they are under the influence might continue to use because of guilt or to cope with the underlying cause of their rage which then leads to more violence and back again. Victims of violence can turn to drugs and/or alcohol to deal with the trauma. Drug abuse only worsens the situation and makes more difficult to treat.
If you are the victim of violence, it is not your fault. You do not deserve this and often, the only effective way to respond is to call the police or contact an organization that specializes in helping people who have been exposed to abuse. By holding the abuser accountable, you are creating circumstances in which they can get the help they need to become more productive members of their community.
If you find yourself becoming violent when you’ve been using, then it is time for you to look at your life and seek help. There are therapies out there that can help you regain control of your life.
Fort Worth Recovery residential programs for men and women alike. They combine a 12-step approach with a strong mental health component. For more information or to start your healing journey, please call today at 817 382 2894 or visit us online.