The Connection Between Alcohol and Anger

At Boardwalk Recovery Center, we understand that every individual handles alcohol differently and we approach our treatment and care with that in mind. Consistently, the participants reported different emotional responses to different alcoholic beverages. Many people who drink are never violent and even those who do become aggressive alcoholic rage syndrome won’t do so all the time. But there is strong evidence of a link between alcohol and aggression. Studies have shown that serotonin levels may begin decreasing within 30 minutes of that first drink (4). Plummeting serotonin levels hinder the brain’s ability to regulate anger and are linked to impulsive aggression (5).

As you become more self-aware, you’ll make better choices about alcohol consumption. Anger and violence when drinking often show themselves in a macho manner, and males are far more likely to be aggressive while intoxicated. Some men — especially younger men — have higher levels of testosterone than their peers. According to the NIAAA report, a person’s testosterone levels may help predict the type of person who will become an angry drunk with the consumption of alcohol. Once you have graduated from this program, you can move on to our outpatient addiction treatment program. We also offer aftercare and 12-step meetings to help you continue to receive the support you need and avoid relapse.

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Consuming alcohol can serve as a distraction from a range of negative feelings, including anger. And all too often, as in Ryan’s case, it reflects displacement, directing anger toward a target that is not the source of an individual’s original anger. Under the influence of alcohol, those already predisposed toward anger may vent or, more seriously, direct their anger toward a target that might be experienced as less threatening than the original target. There are several theories to explain why alcohol makes you aggressive. One prominent theory is “alcohol myopia,” which proposes that alcohol can impair your judgment and reduce your inhibitions, making it difficult for you to think straight.

why does alcohol make you angry

One study published in a journal called Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience sought to explore factors that make some people more aggressive when they drink. Be aware that telling someone to calm down may antagonise them further. This means that you’re not feeding into, justifying or trying to combat the person’s anger, or emotionally engaging with someone who isn’t able to think reasonably. Alcohol impairs your judgement, decision making and problem solving abilities, due to affecting the chemicals in your brain. These impairments can make it seem as though anger is the only response in certain situations, instead of being able to explore other, more reasonable reactions.

Ways Alcohol Facilitates Anger, Aggression and Violence

Anyone who’s lived with an alcoholic parent, partner or other close family member understands all too well what happens when their loved one’s personality changes suddenly as soon as they have a drink or two. Suddenly, the person they know and care for is a much different, angrier person — short-tempered, abusive and often violent. At Priory, our residential alcohol addiction treatment programmes have been specifically designed to help you to overcome your dependence on alcohol and get back on track.

Even the people who care about them the most can be unable or unwilling to continue to tolerate the abuse. In addition, men are more likely than women to become angry or aggressive when they’ve had a drink. It might also cause you to misread situations, resulting in you getting angry when you would normally be calm and rational. For example, if someone accidentally bumps into you at the bar, you might misinterpret this as an act of aggression, causing you to become confrontational and angry. If you were sober, you might be able to look at this logically instead, and accept it may have just been an accident. Alcohol reduces your inhibitions and your ability to control your impulses.

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