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Violence and Substance Use: Treatment Needs and Recommendations for Intervention Approaches

Stephen Chermack, PhD
Chief, Mental Health Service and Substance Abuse Clinic
VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan

What is the relationship between substance use and violence? Dr. Stephen Chernmack, explains that there is a strong yet complex relationship between substance use and partner and non-partner violence. An increase in aggression is related to the use of alcohol, cocaine, and morphine. He outlines potential motivations for violence against partner and non-partner, which include 1) poor mood, 2) disputes regarding drugs or finances, or 3) struggles for power control. Dr. Chernmack argues the importance of helping patients reach substance remission to decrease the rates of violence.


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