Drugs, alcohol & abuse

Know what to watch for

Drug and alcohol use is a prevalent feature of many college campuses across the US, often among people who are only just beginning to experiment with recreational substances. While these activities present an exciting way to socialize, abusive partners may also use the occasion to take advantage of you while you’re intoxicated or to get you intoxicated for the purpose of taking advantage of you while you’re unable to give consent.


Whether or not you’re under the influence, you never deserve to experience abuse.

Sadly, the reality is that being intoxicated can put you in situations where you’re more vulnerable to sexual assault, unsafe or unprotected sex, or addiction. Risk factors to consider when using drugs or alcohol include:

Emotions that may be stronger than usual or change quickly.

Bad or unsafe situations developing further

including an abusive partner’s escalation of force.

Individual or family histories of addiction among you or your partner(s).

Potential challenges leaving a bad or unsafe situation

including not being able to drive or find a trusted ride home, unfamiliarity with your surroundings, difficulty remembering important information, or fear of other people finding out about your situation.

It’s common for abusive partners to blame their behavior on drugs or alcohol to avoid claiming responsibility for their actions or to obscure the reasons they abuse.

Remember: the responsibility for abusive behavior always lies with the person being abusive, not the person they harm.

Drugs and alcohol can affect a person’s judgement and behavior, but they’re never a justification for violent acts. Your partner’s actions while under the influence of drugs or alcohol are still a reflection of their personality, and if your partner is violent when they’re drunk or high, it’s probably a matter of time until they’re abusive while sober, too.

Look out for these common excuses a partner might use to justify abusive behavior:

  • “I was just drunk, I didn’t mean what I said/did.”
  • “I would never hit you sober.”
  • “That’s not who I really am — drinking turns me into a different person.”

Many people who experience abuse use drugs and alcohol to cope with the symptoms of trauma. If you have a problem with drug or alcohol abuse, it’s okay to admit that, even if just to yourself. Help is available and our advocates are ready to identify services and resources to support your needs.

Contact us 24/7 by text, phone, or live chat to discuss your situation and get informed support.


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