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Marijuana less likely than alcohol to lead to violence between partners

Alcohol is more likely than marijuana in leading to intimate partner violence according to a study done at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Colin Henderson's winning 2009 design for Domestic Violence Awareness
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"Research among college students found that men under the influence of alcohol are more likely to perpetrate physical, psychological, or sexual aggression against their partners than men under the influence of marijuana. Women, on the other hand, were more likely to be physically and psychologically aggressive under the influence of alcohol but, unlike men, they were also more likely to be psychologically aggressive under the influence of marijuana," reported the University of Tennessee (Tennessee Today).

The researchers' goal was to find correlations between alcohol and marijuana use and the potential for physical, psychological and sexual violence against partners. The studies are among the first to investigate the timing of alcohol and marijuana use and intimate partner violence in college students according to

There were 2 studies including male and female college students ages 18, and older who had been in a relationship of a minimum of 1 month with at least 2 of those days per week involving contact face-to-face as well as consuming alcohol in the previous month. For ninety days the study subjects completed an online diary also.

"The study of men found that odds of psychological, physical, and sexual violence increased with subsequent use of alcohol. Specifically, odds of physical and sexual abuse increased on days where any alcohol was consumed and with each drink consumed. Odds of psychological abuse increased only on days when five or more drinks were consumed. The study of college women found that alcohol use increased the odds of physical and psychological aggression while marijuana use increased the odds of psychological aggression," reported the University of Tennessee researchers.

The studies were conducted by Ryan Shorey, a psychology doctoral student; Gregory Stuart, a psychology professor; Todd Moore, an associate psychology professor; and James McNulty, an associate professor of social psychology at Florida State University. (From Tennessee Today)

"Another study by the authors and psychology doctoral student Sara Elkins looked at women arrested for domestic violence. This study, published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, found that when women used marijuana they were less likely to perpetrate physical violence," according to UT researchers.

The study of men appears in Addictive Behaviors, and the study of women appears in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors according to

More research is needed on the relationship between marijuana use and violence. However, would it be surprising to find out that future research is more likely to find partners breaking with an urge of munchies than an urge to beat one another silly.


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"One person dies every 19 minutes from a drug overdose in the United States and that trend is being driven by prescription (Rx) painkillers." (

If you or a loved one needs help with any type of drug abuse/addiction problem, contact these sites depending on where you live. SEMCA (Wayne County residents), CARE (Macomb County residents), PACE (Oakland County residents), Drug Free Detroit (City of Detroit residents). For those residing outside the State of Michigan, contact SAMHSA for assistance. For assistance with medical marijuana issues contact The Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, Michigan Medical Marijuana Certification Center, or, phone number: (313) 967-9999, or (248) 677-2888.

Substance abuse and mental health treatment locator here: SAMSHA

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