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Sexual Assault and AddictionSexual assault can be a part of addiction in many ways. Those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol can be both victims and perpetrators when under the influence. Substance abuse can cause people to act in ways they normally would not while under the control of drugs or alcohol.

Alcohol and Sexual Assault

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that an estimated 25 percent of American women have experienced sexual assault, including rape, and that at least half of those cases involved alcohol consumption by the victim, perpetrator, or both. Both numbers are conservative estimates since many women who are victims of sexual assault do not report it. These estimates are based on a variety of sources, including police reports, national random samples of crime victims, and interviews with college students, incarcerated rapists, and victims seeking treatment in hospitals across the country. Most alcohol-related assaults occur between men and women who do not know each other well.

Addiction and Assault

Drug addiction also plays a role in sexual assault, especially if a person was sexually assaulted as a child or young adult. The Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs presented the following statistics in a 2005 report:

  • Rape victims are 3.5 times more likely than non-victims to have abused prescription drugs.
  • Rape victims are 3.4 times more likely than non-victims to have used marijuana.
  • Rape victims were 10.1 times more likely than non-victims to have used hard drugs other than cocaine.

Drug abuse can also contribute to how people become victims of sexual assault. Party drugs like Ecstasy and Rohypnol continue to play a role in the victimization of both women and men as these drugs cause amnesia-like effects, have no taste or odor, and can be slipped easily into an unsuspecting person’s beverage. People who abuse drugs at parties or for entertainment purposes are more likely to let down their guard and not be aware that they are in danger of sexual assault.

Finding Help for Sexual Assault and Addiction

Sexual assault can lead to depression and cause victims to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the trauma. If you or a loved one is the victim of a sexual assault and struggles with addiction, we are here to help you. Call our toll-free, 24 hour number to speak to an admissions coordinator. We are ready to answer your questions about addiction and help you find the right treatment program for your unique situation.