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The Connection Between Alcohol and Anger

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Anger is a rather intense emotion someone feels when something has gone wrong, or they have been wronged. Aggression is a range of behaviors that can cause both physical and psychological harm to thyself, others, or objects around you. How aggression and feelings of anger relate to alcoholism is often misjudged by many casual observers, but there is in fact a link between these two states of mind.

The Connection Between Alcohol and Anger

How Alcohol Affects Anger and Aggression

There is also a personality trait called the trait of anger. Trait anger refers to the general tendency of a person to experience anger chronically or over time. A person that has this trait will find things to activate their anger. As a result, these people will also experience anger and aggression more often.

Alcohol affects everyone differently. You may have even heard someone talk about this person being a “happy drunk” or maybe an “angry or sad drunk.” Alcohol can cause different emotional responses for different people. If an individual has a natural tendency to be happy, alcohol will likely cause them to be happy. If they tend to be angry naturally, alcohol will likely cause them to become angrier and even potentially aggressive. Alcohol affects aggression in several layers that affect a person cognitively, neurobiologically, and socially. Drunk people are often easily triggered, bringing out anger and aggression as a reaction that would normally not be displayed without a state of intoxication. If you or a loved one experience episodes of anger, possibly that even lead to “blacking out” events, it’s crucial to seek professional alcoholism treatment and help from dedicated psychotherapists.

What Experts Say About Addiction and Anger

The National Institute of Health article titled “Alcohol-Related Aggression—Social and Neurobiological Factors” says the following on the matter:

Alcohol consumption is associated with aggressive behavior more closely than the use of any other psychotropic substance. The relationship between alcohol consumption and aggressive behavior has been well documented in epidemiological studies—alcohol-related aggression results in considerable personal suffering and socioeconomic costs every year. For example, reviews have shown that acute alcohol intoxication plays a deciding role in approximately half of the violent crimes and sexual assaults worldwide. In addition, statistics show that the prevalence of alcohol-related aggression, particularly murder, in the USA has increased over the last 50 years. (NLM)

Alcohol can cause neuroinflammation, which can worsen with heavy alcohol consumption on the gut’s microbiome and nutrition. In addition, research shows that alcoholism can cause a deficiency of omega-3  fatty acids, which can be associated with an increase in violence. So what are some of the risk factors associated with an angry drunk?

The Risk Factors for an Angry Drunk

Some risk factors can increase the risk of alcohol-related anger or aggression. According to research, these factors can include:

  • Being a male
  • Binge drinking
  • Having high levels of the personality trait `trait anger
  • Having a sensation-seeking personality trait
  • Having irritability that’s underlying
  • Not having any empathy
  • Having relatives or friends that have aggression problems while drinking alcohol

Additionally, another risk factor for aggressive behavior is drinking alcohol mixed with an energy drink. Research shows that mixing caffeine and alcohol produced escalation in people and put them at potential risk for increased hostility.

Disinhibition and Impulse Control Related to Alcohol Abuse

Disinhibition is reduced control over urges and impulses after someone becomes intoxicated. It is a psychological and behavioral effect of alcohol. Disinhibition can cause you to be unable to change or suppress an act of anger or aggression that isn’t appropriate for your situation. Also, being intoxicated can also cause a lack of impulse control, making a person unable to resist a sudden urge to go off into a rage or act of aggression.  The link between alcoholism and anger is uncanny and could lead to legal or other potentially debilitating problems.

Recovery From Alcoholism Starts HERE

Evoke Wellness Coconut Creek is a premier treatment center committed to providing the best care for anyone battling drug addiction or alcoholism. Our top priority is your safety and comfort, and life in sobriety is our primary mission. Our professionals are some of the most experienced, compassionate, non-judgmental, and understanding people in the addiction field. We will treat you with the kindness and respect you deserve and help you start healing and moving forward to long-term recovery. Help is only one phone call away, therefore don’t hesitate to give us a call today.