Teen Dating Violence Leads to Substance Abuse

a depressed teenager

According to loveisrespect.org, around 1.5 million high school students across the country experience sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional abuse from a dating partner in a single year. While the majority of dating teens are in normal relationships, abusive or unhealthy behaviors are still a common threat.

More studies show that violent relationships in adolescence increase the victim’s risk for substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, eating disorders, and further domestic violence. Experts at Acqua Recovery explore how drug and alcohol use intersect with violence and what loved ones can do to help.

Correlation Between Substance Abuse and Dating Violence

Research suggests a direct association between the increased inclinations for drug and alcohol use and experiencing violence during dating. According to a report published in Pediatrics, teenage boys in unhealthy relationships are more likely to use marijuana compared to their peers, while teen girls have a greater likelihood of binge drinking. Another study provides strong evidence on the connection of dating violence in youth and drug abuse.

The Cycle of Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Alcohol and drugs influence a person to engage in risky behaviors. A dating partner’s susceptibility to do sexual, physical, verbal, digital, or emotional abuse is heightened. He or she can also be more vulnerable to having unprotected or unsafe sexual activity or being sexually assaulted.

Another major cause of substance usage leading to abuse is conflict, whether with family, friends, or other relationships. This pushes the user to rely more on alcohol or drugs to reduce tension or stress, which creates a hard-to-break cycle.

Help is available for anyone who wishes to end their substance addiction. Rehabilitation, counseling, self-help seminars, and support groups are some ways that can aid a person in overcoming this difficult situation. Alcohol and drug abuse are the most common yet most challenging addictions to fight, but it is possible with the right care and treatment.