Addiction and domestic violence share a complex and toxic relationship. On the one hand, alcohol and drugs fuel aggressive and violent behavior on the part of the aggressor; on the other, victims often self-medicate with substances to dull the pain and escape the trauma of the attacks. The American Society of Addiction Medicine reports that substance abuse has been found to co-occur in 40-60% of intimate partner violence (IPV) incidents, and more than 20% of male perpetrators report using alcohol and/or illicit drugs prior to the most recent and severe acts of violence. Data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that over 80% of domestic violence victims are female, creating an urgent need for gender-specific care in these programs.
What Happens in Domestic Violence Drug Rehab Programs?
The journey of rehab connected to domestic violence is different for victims and perpetrators. While both incorporate group therapy and individualized counseling, rehab victims will likely take a trauma-informed approach, with techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) being a cornerstone of the care process. For perpetrators, rehab should include anger management therapy, as well as the exploration of any family history that may have led to their violent tendencies and substance use. Many who wind up becoming abusers were abused themselves as children. Connecting these dots is crucial for creating the self-awareness necessary to move forward and correct behavior in the moment.
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