A: It is a common misconception that drug and alcohol abuse cause domestic violence. At the root of domestic violence is the abuser's need for power and control. Abusers use physical, psychological, economic and sexual abuse as a means of maintaining dominance over their victims. Abusers use substance abuse as an excuse for their violent acts, claiming the alcohol or drugs "made them do it," taking away the abuser's sense of responsibility for their actions. This reliance on alcohol and drugs as the "cause" of abuse gives victims a false sense of hope leading them to believe that their loved one is not really "an abuser" and if they can get them to stop using or drinking the abuse will stop. This is not to say, however, that there is no connection between domestic violence and substance abuse, as sometimes abuse is more severe and more frequent when an abuser is under the influence. Also, some victims of domestic violence use alcohol and drugs in order to numb their fear and cope with the abuse.