Are you familiar with the expression “in vino veritas”? Roughly translated from Latin, it means “in wine, there is truth.” A modern interpretation might be “when a person drinks, they lose their “filter,” thus leading them to blurt out something that, had they been sober, they would have kept to themselves.
There's no denying that using alcohol and drugs can have a dramatic effect on one's thought processes, actions, and behavior. But is that really their true self coming through, or do intoxicated people genuinely act differently than their usual selves? If drug or alcohol use has led to domestic violence and/or the issuing of a Protection From Abuse order, is it possible for an abuser to change? Let's take a closer look.
The Factors That Influence Intoxicated Behavior
What accounts for an individual's behavior while drinking or using drugs? The biggest factor, of course, is the substance itself. Using methamphetamine can lead to jittery, agitated, hyper-focused activity as well as insomnia. Someone who's smoked pot will usually seem mellow, philosophical, and inclined to snack. Alcohol releases inhibitions, spurring tabletop dance moves, late-night confessions, and impulsive risk-taking behavior. It can also inspire violent actions.
However, there are several other factors at play when it comes to inebriation, including:
- Genetics. There are some inherited traits linked to intoxicated behavior, and some folks are genetically predisposed to heavy drinking.
- Experience and Environment. Most of the time, people tend to act in accordance with the situation at hand: displaying rowdy, uninhibited behavior at a sports event or college keg party, showing more decorum at a wine bar or formal wedding reception.
- Stress and Emotions. The why behind one's drinking often matters as much as the what. Using intoxicating substances to deal with chronic stress can end up making things worse.
- Gender. Physiologically, women react differently to alcohol than men because their bodies process it more quickly.
- Your “Normal” Personality. If you're a fundamentally kind person, you don't change into a heartless monster when you're soused or stoned. People who are depressed may find their hopelessness heightened when they've been boozing.
Change Is Always An Option
What does this mean for situations of domestic violence or Protection From Abuse orders? If a person is abusive when drunk or high on meth, does that mean there's no hope for them to change, even if they stop using alcohol or other substances?
Absolutely not. The factors that combine to cause violent or abusive actions can be mitigated. It may take some hard work on the part of the alleged abuser, but if they are committed to getting sober and changing their ways, it is possible to turn over a new leaf. They must learn how to handle their emotions and cope with conflict. It's important to admit their mistakes and make amends to those they've hurt. Ultimately, they must heal the personal trauma that has led to their addiction and abusive acts.
It can be incredibly difficult to overcome addiction and overhaul your personality, but you can develop a kinder, gentler version of yourself. If you're facing criminal charges (or a civil Protection From Abuse order) because of alcohol- or drug-fueled violence, let this be the motivation you need to improve yourself and your relationships.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has worked with many people in this situation and understands that poor prior decisions do not have to mean a future of failure. Call 888-535-3686 or click here to learn how he can help resolve your legal troubles while you embark on a voyage of self-improvement.
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