Drugs and Dating Violence


teen girl turning her back on boyfriend

We know that drugs are bad for your physical and mental health.

But drug use also has a negative impact on your personal relationships since it can greatly change your mood and your behavior towards others.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points to substance use as one of the top risk factors for teen dating violence.

What is Dating Violence?

Dating violence is violence between two people in a relationship. It is not always physical. In fact, according to the CDC, there are four different kinds:

Physical – when a person hits, kicks, shoves his or her partner
Psychological/emotional – could include name calling, bullying and isolation
Sexual – forcing a partner to engage in a sex act when they don’t want to; threatening to spread rumors if a partner doesn’t want to have sex
Stalking – constant, unwanted harassment

It can also occur via computer or smartphone and include someone repeatedly texting a partner or posting a partner’s nude photos online.

Almost 10 percent of high schoolers surveyed in the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey  had experienced physical dating violence in the past year. And a little bit over 10 percent of high schoolers had experienced sexual dating violence within the past year.

See more: Signs of Teen Dating Violence

How is Drug Use Connected to Dating Violence?

As we said earlier, drugs cause you to behave differently towards others. For example, cocaine makes users aggressive, and many drugs (like Spice, meth, marijuana and more) cause users to be paranoid. Aggression and paranoia in relationships (and in pretty much most areas of your life) are unhealthy and can unfortunately lead to a form of dating violence.

If you or anyone you know is dealing with violence in a relationship, you can get help here.


Learn more about dating violence 

Study: Physical and Sexual Dating Violence and Nonmedical Use of Prescription Drugs

CDC Teen Dating Violence article