The relationship and connection between alcoholism, drug addiction, and violence crosses many thresholds (individual psychology, public health, and domestic violence, to name a few), and is vitally important in understanding the scope of how controlled substances can affect people.
Violence influenced by drug addiction or alcoholism directed at a domestic partner is of great concern to society. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that the abuse in a domestic arrangement may consist of physical abuse, such as punching, slapping or pulling hair, emotional abuse (intentional, malicious actions directed at diminishing a partner’s self-worth), psychological abuse (intimidation, control, blackmail, threatening violence and harm to children and pets), and even sexual abuse (rape, molestation, and marital rape, treating a partner in a sexually abusive and demeaning way). As a legal term, “domestic violence,” may cover all the actions mentioned above.
A study (“Associations Between Substance Use and Type of Crime in Prisoners with Substance Use Problems – A Focus on Violence and Fatal Violence”) found that binge drinking and sedatives were positively associated with violent crime, while heroin, amphetamine, cocaine, and intravenous drug use were negatively associated with violent crime. Sedatives tended to be associated with fatal violence among violent offenders only, whereas amphetamine, homelessness, age, and heroin were negatively associated with fatal violence.
The study concluded that treatment and risk assessment involving violent perpetrators with substance use may need to address sedatives and alcohol specifically. The significant point here is that alcohol is much more commonly used than any of the other substances, thus increasing the potential for violence related to substance abuse in a domestic relationship.
The relationship between drugs and human behavior is complex. Drugs may produce a multitude of symptoms and side effects, depending on the individual. Do an individual’s mental health problems precede drug use or are they caused by drug use? Does criminal behavior occur because of substance abuse or is it the cause of it? The answers to these questions differ based on the drug itself, the user, and the setting or environment in which the drug is taken.
The attorney that any defendant hires may be crucial to achieving the best possible result. John Patrick Dolan has forty years of criminal defense experience. Contact Dolan Law Offices today at 760-775-3739 or 562-824-4007 to discuss your situation or find out more online here.