How do domestic violence and substance abuse connect?

Dean Dyer reports the connection between DV and substance abuse. The connection between domestic violence and substance abuse was explored during the recent monthly meeting of the White County Meth Task Force.

As part of the regular meeting a panel discussion was held looking a domestic violence in the area. The panel was made up of representatives from battered shelters, counseling services, probation office and victim advocates.

Melisa Fincher, Chairman of the White County Meth Task Force Board, says the discussion was enlightening to those attending and they will use the information shared in their work with people they work with.

Bonnie Lockwood with Cornerstone Counseling Center in Cleveland said 70 to 75 percent of their clients are addicted to drugs or alcohol or connected with domestic violence. Melody Wood, Chief Probation officer for the Enotah Judicial Circuit, said they have 1,700 active cases currently and 90 percent of those are drug-related.

Several panel members had positive comments for the work the White County Sheriff’s office does in the family violence area. Walden responded by saying his department takes this issue “very seriously.” According to Walden, the number of domestic violence arrests in the county was down last year. All those attending agreed that domestic violence is not caused by substance abuse they are two separate issues.

ABOUT THE METH TASK FORCE The idea for the task force was conceived by Helen Fincher Hardman and other members of her family because of the direct impact the meth problem has had on them. “People don’t talk about it,” Hardman said in January, “and for a long time we wouldn’t. But then we thought ‘this is ridiculous’ and we started talking about it and found there were so many people just like we were who had problems but didn’t know where to go, how to get help.” And, so, the White county Meth Task Force was born “because there’s no first line to help people,” Hardman added. “They don’t know where treatment providers are, they don’t know what to do with their child gets arrested…”