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The Role of Alcohol Abuse in Domestic Violence

Before we explore the role of alcohol abuse in domestic violence it is important to understand exactly what is “alcohol abuse”. This term is used to describe a condition in which a person who partakes of alcoholic beverages on a regular basis, and that routinely becomes intoxicated. Looking deeper into the term it is also used to describe a condition in which the consumption of alcohol begins to interfere with one’s life on a day to day basis.

Alcohol abuse is linked to domestic violence because of co-existing mental health issues, aggressive behavior, and poor decision-making and communication

But what leads a person to routine alcohol abuse? Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that. There are many determining factors that can lead a person to alcohol abuse. Often, in the beginning, the person suffers from depression or another emotional condition, alcohol is then used as a method of self-medication. The effects of intoxication from alcohol can be very appealing to someone who is trying to find an “escape” from the mundane day to day life that they are unhappy with. Or perhaps there is severe depression or the person experienced emotional trauma that they are trying to forget. The reason that so many people turn to alcohol is that when intoxicated, at least for a period of time the problems you are facing take a back seat to the pleasure and fun a person can experience while drinking.

Alcohol negatively affects our cognitive ability and communication

For years’ alcohol abuse and domestic violence have gone hand in hand. This connection has been associated with many different determining factors. The leading connection between the two must do with how alcohol effects our cognitive function. Alcohol causes our brains to communicate in a very different manner than it usually does. This can drastically alter the way that we handle stress and confrontation. Leading to higher levels of outward aggression that we normally experience, as well as a severely limited ability to display patience when interacting with others.

Up to 85 percent of domestic abuse incidences involve alcohol

Various sources report 52% to 85% of all domestic violence cases include alcoholism. In these cases, often the abuser and the abused are both drinking. This causes the situation to escalate much faster than it would under normal circumstances. We all know that alcohol inhibits our ability to make good decisions. So, it should come as no surprise that when alcohol is a factor in an already tense and potentially confrontational environment, things can escalate to outward violence even if that is not how you would normally handle a situation like that.

More on: Addiction, Alcohol, Drinking, Marital Conflict
Latest update: January 20, 2017