Is intimate partner violence associated with the use of alcohol treatment services? Results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health

Sherry Lipsky, Raul Caetano
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 2008, 69 (1): 30-8

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine (1) the prevalence of alcohol treatment use by intimate partner violence (IPV) type (any IPV, victimization, and perpetration) among problem drinkers and (2) the relationship between alcohol treatment use and IPV, by IPV type, in the general population.

METHOD: The sample was drawn from the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white cohabiting respondents 18-49 years of age and who reported one or more alcohol problems in the past year are included in the analysis. Logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between alcohol treatment use and IPV.

RESULTS: The prevalence of alcohol treatment use was significantly greater among individuals exposed to IPV, regardless of IPV type (7.4%, 7.8%, and 6.9% among those with any IPV, victimization, and perpetration, respectively) compared with those without reported IPV (2.8%, 2.8%, and 3.0%, respectively). Any IPV (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.97, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.06-3.65) and IPV victimization (AOR = 1.93, CI: 1.00-3.73), but not perpetration, were associated with alcohol treatment use. Male gender, alcohol abuse/dependence, illicit drug abuse/dependence, and serious mental illness were positively and significantly associated with alcohol treatment in all three models.

CONCLUSIONS: IPV, especially victimization, may have a substantial impact on alcohol treatment services. Findings highlight the potential to identify IPV in alcohol treatment settings and provide referral and intervention services.

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