Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 209-228

First online:

Drug Abuse and Partner Violence among Women in Methadone Treatment

  • Nabila El-BasselAffiliated withSchool of Social Work, Columbia University
  • , Louisa GilbertAffiliated withSchool of Social Work, Columbia University
  • , Robert SchillingAffiliated withSchool of Social Work, Columbia University
  • , Takeshi WadaAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, Columbia University

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This study aims to (1) describe rates of lifetime and current partner abuse among women on methadone; (2) examine the relationship between partner violence and demographics, substance abuse, and drug risk behaviors; and (3) explore the association between a victim's current use of crack/cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and drug risk behavior after controlling for demographics, household composition, history of victimization and sex trading. Approximately three-fourths of the women ever experienced physical, sexual, or life-threatening abuse and slightly less than one-third experienced at least one type of abuse during the previous year. A history of childhood victimization was reported by more than half of the women and one-third witnessed her mother being abused. Risk of partner violence was associated with victim's current drug and alcohol use, visiting shooting galleries, and living with someone with drug or alcohol problems. The study discusses the implications of the findings for research and intervention.

domestic violence drug abuse STD HIV methadone treatment