The Connection between Addiction and Violence

The Connection between Addiction and ViolenceCalifornia drug addicts may not be inherently violent, but drug abuse causes side effects that may encourage violence. Many people may suppose that the tough town of Inglewood has a higher violence rate than Hollywood, but the reverse is actually true: according to the FBI’s 2010 Uniform Crime Reporting data, West Hollywood has a violence rate that is more than 50% higher than Inglewood. The neighboring towns of Bel Air and Beverly Hills have no such problem, but West Hollywood is home to the Sunset Strip and other party destinations, so the nightly intoxication levels lead to more fighting. Intoxication has a history of inciting violence, especially in families, but the overall connection between addiction and violence runs much deeper.

Mental Health and Addiction

Mental health and addiction have much in common. Both are neurobiological diseases partly rooted in genetic heritage, which means drug abuse can trigger a dormant mental health disorder, and vice versa. Violence increases with certain disorders, including the following examples:

  • Anxiety disorders and panic attacks
  • Manic depression or bipolar disorder
  • Psychosis and schizophrenia
  • Antisocial personality disorders

People who perpetrate mass shootings often suffer from a mental illness, though it should be noted that most violent incidents are actually directed at someone with a disorder. Substance abuse can accelerate or trigger a mental illness, and having both a co-occurring addiction and disorder opens the door to more violence. California residents with these problems may suffer deeply if they avoid professional help.

How Addiction Causes Violence

In addition to encouraging assault, addiction can also play any of the following roles:

  • Contributing to aggressive behavior
  • Drug binges spike paranoia and anxiety
  • Cravings make addicts more irritable and agitated
  • Destabilizing emotions and hormone levels
  • Causing users to neglect responsibilities

As with mental health, violence goes both ways. A California drug addict is just as likely to be the victim of violence as she is likely to start it. Female addicts in particular have an elevated risk of sexual assault.

How Violence Causes Addiction

Substance abuse can ignite violent situations, but the reverse is also true. This means that many addicts are victims of violence, which may encourage any of the following problems:

  • Self-medicating anxiety from traumatic events
  • Suppressing or forgetting memories of violent abuse
  • Accessing euphoric highs when trauma limits happiness
  • Seeking escape from emotions or life

In these cases, California users must address both the trauma and addiction to recover fully.

Addiction Treatment Methods

Professional rehab begins with medically supervised detox that minimizes withdrawal symptoms and safeguards a user’s health. From there, treatment includes the following methods:

  • Mental health screenings and integrated treatment
  • Counseling to address underlying issues and trauma
  • Behavioral therapies to improve how people respond to problems
  • Identifying what triggers your drug use
  • Psychodynamic therapy to unlock unconscious issues
  • Group counseling to build peer support

Rehab centers also provide aftercare counseling and suggest local support groups.

California Addiction Help

California residents can call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to break the cycle of addiction and violence. Our professional addiction counselors can answer your questions, explain treatment methods and even check your health insurance policy for coverage. We are waiting for your call, so please call us now.

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