The connection between adolescent dating violence (ADV) and substance use is important to consider because of the serious consequences for teens who engage in these behaviors. Although prior research shows that these two health problems are related, the context in which they occur is missing, including when (i.e., the timeline) in the relationship these events occur. To fill this gap, eight sex-specific focus groups were conducted with 39 high school-aged teens, all of whom had experienced prior relationship violence. Adolescents discussed using alcohol and/or drugs at the start of the dating relationship and after the relationship ended as a way to cope with the break-up. Alcohol and drugs were also used throughout to cope with being in an abusive relationship. The intersection of ADV and substance use occurred during instances when both partners were using alcohol and/or drugs, as well as when only one partner was using. These findings provide support for prevention and intervention programs that consider the intersection of ADV and substance use.