Understanding the relationship between domestic and intimate partner violence, adverse childhood experiences, and chronic opioid use disorder: The patient perspective
Keywords:substance use, opioid use disorder, domestic violence, intimate partner violence
Introduction: Opioid dependence and misuse are a plague of epidemic proportions in our communities and globally. Prior trauma in childhood may contribute to opioid dependence, while one consequence of opioid misuse is increased risk for involvement as both perpetrators and victims in domestic and intimate partner violence (DV and IPV). The aims of this study were to understand the proportion of patients who identified as having an opioid use disorder (OUD), if OUD was associated with higher rates of DV and IPV as both perpetrators and victims, and whether adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) as well as demographic factors related to instability in their social life were higher among those with OUD compared to those without.
Methods: The sample consisted of 124 patients who were identified as having an OUD in their medical records based on ICD-10 codes. Each participant completed an anonymous survey about basic demographics, their alcohol, drug, and opioid intake, and their history of domestic and IPV. Descriptive statistics, univariate, and multivariate regression analyses were conducted in STATA 17.1 software.
Results: A sample of patients with an OUD diagnosis in their medical record found that 64 percent of patients acknowledged having a history of opioid addiction. Patients acknowledging OUD were more likely to not be married (divorced or single) (p < 0.01), younger than 50 years of age (p < 0.01), non-White (p < 0.01), and had higher average ACEs scores (p < 0.0X). Patients who reported OUD were also more likely to be both victims and perpetrators of DV/IPV compared to patients who denied OUD.
Discussion: OUD needs to be treated holistically to ensure that the adverse consequences of DV and IPV do not become a silent disease perpetuated on this population, their families, and society.
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