Some batterers' intervention programs have also mistakenly attempted to solve domestic abuse by using alcohol or drug treatment therapy as part of their program. Focusing on the perpetrator's possible drug or alcohol problem does not address the underlying causes of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a pattern of abuse used by one of the partners in an intimate relationship to maintain power and control over the other. Alcohol and drug abuse "do not cause non-violent persons to become violent." From Anne L. Ganley & Susan Schechter, Domestic Violence: A National Curriculum for Family Preservation Practitioners (1995). Many people who abuse alcohol or drugs never batter their partners and research has shown that batterers who have successfully completed alcohol treatment often continue to batter. These are separate problems requiring separate solutions:
The [second] problem with accepting alcohol and drug abuse as an excuse for violence is that society, friends, and family—and often the mental health community—may view alcohol or drugs as the primary problem. Many people assume that if a substance abuse problem is resolved, the abuse and violent behavior will end. This is a dangerous assumption for the partner of an abusive man. People who abuse alcohol or drugs and act violently have two problems—not one. They need to address both.
From Michael Paymar, Violent No More Helping Men End Domestic Abuse 219 (2000).
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