A Discussion about

Alcohol and Violence

An age-old problem that must end

Alcohol Consumption and Domestic Violence

Most people have heard the term "mean drunk" at some point in their lives. These are the people who become more aggressive and even violent when under the influence of alcohol. This term implies that the person is mean because they are intoxicated; however, there is little to substantiate claims that alcohol alone causes violent behaviors.

Alcohol as the Enabler of Violent Behavior

While drinking doesn't make people abusive, it can provoke aggression and violence in those who already have aggressive or violent tendencies. Abusers often use alcohol consumption as an excuse for their behaviors, but in truth, alcohol use enables them to abuse through the loss of inhibitions and decreased cognitive perception. Decreased perception may cause them to misinterpret the words and actions of others making an already volatile situation more tense. Loss of inhibitions while under the influence exacerbates violent tendencies which is why alcohol is a risk factor for domestic violence.

Effects, Consequences, and Resolutions

Effects of Alcohol Use on Abusers

Alcohol may not be the cause of abuse, but it can increase violence in those who already believe that violence and abuse are appropriate behaviors. Long-term, chronic alcohol use creates financial pressures, causes behavioral changes, and often results in a lowered status for the alcohol abuser within the family. Individuals experiencing these stressors, who are already predisposed to violence and aggression, are likely to inflict increasingly worse injuries on those around them. In many cases, the abuser will regret what happened when they are sober and of sound mind, but after it is too late and the damage is already done.

Breaking the Cycle of Addiction and Abuse

In order to break the cycle of alcohol abuse and physical abuse, the abuser must seek treatment. Because the violent tendencies and the alcohol abuse are two different problems, they must be treated separately. Treatment for alcohol use and abuse is significantly different than treatment for anger, aggression, and violence. If an abuser refuses to get help, it usually leads to more problems later on such as getting arrested and charged with assault, a serious matter for any domestic violence attorney to fight in court.

Solutions to End the Alcohol and Violence Problem

The issue of alcohol and violence has been a problem for hundreds of years. But in the last few decades, there has been a more aggressive approach to solving the dilemma, such as making the laws tougher for offenders, providing assistance for victims, and offering treatment programs to alcoholics who want to put an end to their addiction and bad behavior.