SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Domestic violence deaths are on the rise according to the Spartanburg County Coroner.

“Those who have addictions, they are also fueling other crimes,” said Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller.

It’s a trend Sheriff Mueller says starts with abusers committing petty crimes to satisfy their addiction. Those crimes include stealing from loved ones to pay for their substance dependence, which in turn fuels fights among couples.

“Due to their addiction they can’t maintain a steady job,” Mueller told 7News.

Sheriff Mueller says without help addiction grows and eventually to curb their cravings, abusers resort to committing violent crimes.

“Whether that is domestic violence. Whether that is other violent crimes,” he said.

Treatment Director Christina Crosby tells 7News alcoholism and drug addiction play a big role in Domestic Violence. Crosby says time and time again she sees that when a spouse is under the influence of a substance their judgment is impairs, their emotions become heightened and they act out violently towards others.

“Think of the victims, to have to live in this cycle and to have to be scared and wonder what’s going to happen next,” Crosby said. “It’s very terrifying.”

Many times those episodes of rage are turning deadly, and it’s started to raise eyebrows among Upstate officials.