Domestic Violence, Trauma & AddictionThe National Institute on Drug Abuse is a government organization that does statistics and research studies about the disease of addiction. Years of research has found that addiction can happen for a variety of different reasons. One of the other big risk factors is the person’s environment. Those who live in a bad environment are much more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol than someone who lives in a healthy environment.

Domestic Violence Leading to Addiction
Most people suffering from addicting don’t realize it, but they aren’t only drinking or using drugs because they crave the sensation. Many people become addicted to substances because they’re trying to fill a void within themselves that they can’t quite explain. Those who are searching to fill this void are not only at risk of becoming addicted to substances, but they sometimes try to fill this void with relationships. Women who are dependent upon relationships are on a quick path to addiction when the relationship is abusive. Often times, they may not even realize it.

A woman is beaten every 15 seconds in the United States. Some women don’t have the ability to leave the man who is abusing them, often because she doesn’t believe she can. It’s common for women to have children with the perpetrator of domestic violence. Because of this, even if the man is beating the children as well, the woman feels powerless to leave because she can’t imagine supporting her children on her own.

Over time, the woman feels helpless and hopeless in her situation. Because of this, she tries to suppress those feelings and emotions with drugs and alcohol. Many people from all different backgrounds begin drinking or using because they’re trying to fix a long-term problem with a temporary solution. Eventually, the alcohol or drugs stop numbing the pain and anguish the woman experiences. By then, she has already become substance dependent.

Getting Help and Dealing with Trauma
It’s difficult for a woman who is the victim of domestic abuse to feel like she’s not alone. This is a similar case for many suffering from addiction. Amazing programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step fellowships were founded on the system of one alcoholic or addict helping another to get sober and stay sober. This works because it helps people realize that they aren’t alone. They quickly find that others have felt how they feel and experienced what they’re going through. This also helps with the trauma of domestic violence.

Women who enter a treatment program for addiction often go through group therapy. This is where they begin to get support from other women. Within the walls of treatment centers around the country are scores of women who turned to drugs and alcohol because of domestic violence. Although this is the case, there are also women who have been able to get sober and out of unhealthy relationships as well. It’s also important that the treatment facility has therapists who specialize in treating women with traumatic histories that may have co-occurring disorders.

If you’re struggling with addiction and are in an abusive relationship, you don’t have to go through it alone. By going through the recovery process, you’ll break free from your dependence, never feel the need to drink or use again, and become a strong woman who doesn’t need to be in an abusive relationship. You have the power to take back your life.