Helping News                                                  May, 2012   Issue 46

The Link Between Intimate Partner
Violence, Substance Abuse and Mental
Health in California
Elaine Zahnd, May Aydin, David Grant and Sue Holtby
Health Policy Brief
August, 2011

SUMMARY: This policy brief presents findings on the linkages between intimate partner violence (IPV), emotional health and substance use among adults ages 18-65 in California. Among the 3.5 million Californians who have ever been victimized by IPV as adults, over half a million report serious psychological distress (SPD) in the past year. Almost half of all adult IPV victims indicate that their partner was under the influence of alcohol or other drugs during the most recent incident. 
Two-fifths of adult IPV victims 
report past-year binge drinking 
and 7% report daily or weekly 
binge drinking. One in three IPV
victims expressed a need for 
mental health, alcohol or other 
drug (AOD) services and almost 
one-fourth used mental health or 
AOD services during the past year. 
These disturbing findings can aid 
strategies to identify, intervene 
with and assist IPV victims who 
experience emotional and/or substance
use problems.

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