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The Connection Between Alcohol and Anger | Brandon Gosselin

Not to mention, recovering alcoholics that don’t manage anger are at higher risk of relapse. Anger is an emotion that varies from person to person and adapts to different situations. A cognitive, behavioral, and physical reaction to it happens all at once. Anger is typically defined as a strong feeling of displeasure, hostility, or annoyance. Neglect– alcoholics usually begin to neglect their normal lifestyles in favour of drinking. In some cases, such as parenthood, neglect could result in a prison sentence.


Understanding your emotions and making smart decisions about alcohol consumption is the best way to avoid problems. Sometimes, drinking alcohol can cause people to become an “angry drunk”.

Anger and Alcoholism – not a good combination!

Our staff is carefully selected not only for their skills and experience but for their passion in helping others, as well. 12-step programs are the path to maintaining long-term, meaningful sobriety.

Additionally, dry drunks will miss the adrenaline rush from old behaviors they do not experience in their new sober self. Even though they speak about anger management in most Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step programs and in rehab, experiencing these emotions is different once you’re sober. Sometimes, little things like being unable to deal with or express a specific feeling can lead to an angry outburst. As a result, there’s a lot of trial and error throughout your recovery, including finding the best anger-management techniques for you.

Why Does Alcohol Make Some People Angry? regulation skills and relapse prevention tools are also taught. Through behavioral therapy and counseling, a person is better able to recognize how their thoughts tie into their actions. They can learn to recognize potential triggers and how to safely manage them. “He’s a mean drunk.” This is a line you’ve probably heard in a movie, on TV, or even in real life. From the surface, it almost sounds like the unnamed individual is being mean because he’s drunk. Was the anger already there before this individual consumed alcohol, or was it truly a state that was brought out by the alcohol?

  • Alcohol can provide a distraction from various negative emotions, including anger.
  • Even though they speak about anger management in most Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step programs and in rehab, experiencing these emotions is different once you’re sober.
  • A total of 100 males (50 alcohol-dependent and 50 abstainers) in the age range of 20–45 years with a primary diagnosis of alcohol dependence were taken for the study.
  • The effect of alcohol may also be due to the effect of neuroinflammation, a situation made worse because of the effect of heavy alcohol consumption on the gut/microbiome and nutrition.

When you heavily consume alcohol, your prefrontal cortex becomes damaged, altering your decision-making capabilities. Therefore, people who rely on drinking as a coping mechanism can be more inclined to make rash choices, such as having unprotected sex or getting into a car with a stranger. According to research compiled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, alcohol useis a considerable contributing factorto sexual assault. Similarly, innearly 40% of violent incidents, surveyed individuals from the United Kingdom said they believed their perpetrator was under the influence of alcohol. While drinking alcohol isn’t the sole reason for assault, it plays a substantial role in whether someone commits a violent crime. If you feel like you have a pattern of being aggressive when drinking alcohol, you should understand how your behavior can impact yourself and others.

What Causes Alcohol-Related Anger and Aggression?

Alcohol tends to create a myopic, tunnel effect for those who use it. For those who already don’t think about the future, this could easily lead to making a short-sighted decision and possibly getting into drunken altercations.

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alcoholics and anger of alcohol intoxication on anger experience and expression among partner assaultive men.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2007. These programs organize your treatment session based on your schedule. The goal of outpatient treatment is to provide therapy, education, and support in a flexible environment. Outpatient treatment is less intensive than inpatient treatment or partial hospitalization programs.

Spouses walk on eggshells, always trying to avoid setting off the next angry outburst, or worse, physical attack. The damage done to the mental health of loved ones of alcoholics due to misplaced anger is significant. While hard to not take these angry outbursts to heart, it does help to look at the bigger picture. Think about bar brawls—alcohol and anger seem to go hand in hand. By this point, they seem to be unaware of their alcoholic rage actions.

Does alcohol bring out true feelings?

True feelings may come out when you're drunk, but this isn't necessarily true all the time. Instead, alcohol can make people make fake stories and react with emotions they don't feel. (As it turns out, no inhibitions and impaired judgment aren't exactly the recipe for somber truth-telling.)