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Substance Abuse

The use and/or abuse of alcohol and other drugs are frequently involved in the commission of some crimes. In addition, some victims use substances as a negative coping mechanism to deal with the short- and long-term trauma of victimization. Collaborative efforts among professionals who serve victims-including victim service providers, criminal and juvenile justice professionals, child protection agencies, mental health professionals, and substance abuse treatment providers-are necessary to promote early identification, prevention, and intervention efforts relevant to victimization and substance abuse.

Learning objectives include:

  • Clinical definitions of substance-related disorders, including use, abuse, and dependence.
  • Current research findings relevant to the abuse of alcohol and other drugs and victimization as applied to specific victim populations, including victims of domestic violence, and sexual assault, and child and adolescent victims.
  • The correlation between victimization, posttraumatic stress disorder, and substance abuse.
  • Responses for victim interventions and assistance.
  • Promising practices in preventing and responding to substance abuse among victims of crime.