While considerable literature has explored the complex nature of victimisation, few empirical studies have examined the role of alcohol and other drugs (AODs) in victims’ experiences, specifically victims’ self-medication using AODs and its impact on ongoing health and welfare needs. Addressing the dearth of empirical research on the nature and extent of victims’ self-medication, and drawing upon quantitative data from a survey (n = 102) of victims from Adelaide, South Australia this article explores individuals’ experiences of victimisation and AOD use against type of victimisation, type of peer support network and type of consumption. The findings indicate support for the self-medication for trauma hypothesis, namely that victimisation is positively associated with considerable increase in AOD consumption. On the other hand, there is a lack of support for the supplementary hypothesis that network support is associated with victimisation/re-victimisation. The authors demonstrate that further empirical work is needed to deepen understanding of victims’ AOD use and expedite the development of evidence-based policy and support frameworks.
- alcohol and other drugs
- informal support network
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- repeat victimization