Alcohol and Anger


Alcohol and anger can often be interlinked. For some people, anger can make them more likely to drink and more likely to drink more. In other cases, alcohol can affect their ability to control angry feelings and actions.

Alcohol can have a big impact on someone’s ability to manage feelings of anger because in some people drinking distorts their judgement and reasoning. It can change the way they perceive a situation or event. In some cases, it leads to people over-exaggerating a problem or misreading a situation.

Being drunk sometimes makes people irrational and aggressive/violent. Many fights which break out are fuelled by alcohol causing people to react more angrily than normal.

The relationship between alcohol and anger works in other ways too. Some people rely on alcohol to avoid facing up to their feelings of anger. Relying on alcohol to handle stressful and upsetting feelings is dangerous and can lead to alcoholism.

Alcohol can also increase feelings of anger in people suffering from alcoholism. Anger can stem from the inability to control drinking and cravings. It may also be directed at anyone who tries to stop a drinker drinking or tries to intervene in their behaviour. Alcoholics can also become irritable when they don’t have access to alcohol.

Alcohol can cause angry feelings for people who are trying to stop drinking. Cravings and withdrawal symptoms can lead to irritability and rage. It’s common for recovering alcoholics to be tempted by alcohol when they get angry. Recovering alcoholics are advised to understand the people and situations which make them angry and learn to avoid or manage them without using alcohol as a crutch.  

People trying to stop drinking are urged to avoid situations which are stressful and angering and to use mechanisms to manage their feelings. Counselling and therapy can help people to develop ways of coping with anger and stress without drinking. They can also help people understand where their angry feelings might be coming from and to deal with underlying issues.


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