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Richard J. Gelles & Mary M. Cavanaugh

In: Current Controversies on Family Violence

Chapter 11: Association Is Not Causation: Alcohol and Other Drugs Do Not Cause Violence

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Association Is Not Causation: Alcohol and Other Drugs Do Not Cause Violence
Association is not causation: Alcohol and other drugs do not cause violence
Richard J.Gelles and Mary M.Cavanaugh

The “demon rum” explanation for violence and abuse in the home is one of the most pervasive and widely believed explanations for family violence in the professional and popular literature. Addictive and illicit drugs, such as cocaine, crack, heroin, marijuana, and LSD, are also considered causal agents in child abuse, wife abuse, and other forms of family violence.

That alcohol and substance abuse may be related to, or may directly cause, family violence is not a new idea. William Hogarth's etching Gin Lane, done in the early 1700s, presents a graphic visual portrayal of the abuses and neglect that ...

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