Anger is a natural response among human beings, but there are many situations in which aggression—whether externalized or internalized—can be harmful to people and those who surround them. Anger management issues can be exacerbated by substance abuse issues—particularly if an individual has fallen into deep patterns of addiction for quite some time.

Understanding how addiction and anger issues can work hand-in-hand to create a destructive cycle can help many decide to seek help to recover and find balance through sobriety.

Understanding Where Anger Comes From

Although our brains are wired to respond to certain threats with aggression, some people can be more susceptible to experience anger issues on a regular basis. Many may find that anger is not only caused by physical threats, but is also prompted by pressures and fears that are typical in modern living. For instance, those who have financial woes, relationship troubles, mental health frustrations, physical health challenges or other obstacles may suppress these concerns and turn them into violent actions. It is important to remember that anger does not always have to result in a physical aggression, but could also be found through verbal attacks or self-harm.

When Anger Meets Addiction

Through mindfulness and healthy living, many can find ways to reduce feelings of anger in their lives. However, when anger does occur—it is not necessarily a sign for concern; anger may only become a problem if an individual chooses to handle the situation in a way that harms themselves or others. Therapy, counseling and stress management are all great options to mediate anger—as are anger management problems. However, if you experience anger on a regular basis and are also abusing drugs or alcohol—there is a smaller chance you will be able to find stability.

Substances change our brain chemistry, and depending on one’s drug of choice, these changes can dramatically increase a user’s tendency to become angry—more frequently and without real cause. Other specific reasons that drug and alcohol abuse can contribute to anger problems include:

  • Becoming Angry at Those Who Try to Help

In addiction cases, many friends and family of the addict will become privy to the issue before the individual does. Some may confront their loved one about the substance abuse problem with an intention to help; however, if the individual is in denial, they may only respond with anger that can disrupt the balance of an important relationship. Some may channel their anger through physical violence, verbal abuse or complete separation so that they can continue to use drugs or alcohol without extra pressure.

  • Failure to Recognize the Source of Anger

Many times, there are real reasons why people may experience intense anger control issues—such as those who suffer from PTSD. However, when individuals are clouded by addiction it can be difficult for them to identify what is actually the source of anger. Instead, addicts may believe that they are angry because they do not have enough drugs or alcohol, are being “attacked” for their substance abuse or that they cannot keep up with important responsibilities. Most will self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to mediate this anger temporarily; however, it is important to break free from addiction to explore the underlying causes of long-term anger issues.

  • Addiction Can Motivate Self-Harm

Addiction and mental health issues are commonly connected—a problem that dual diagnosis therapy solutions strive to resolve. Depression and anxiety are among the mental health issues that can complicate substance abuse in a patient—most of which will experience some form of lowered self-esteem. Instead of becoming angry at those around them, those with poor self-esteem may feel guilty or at fault for their addictions. This pattern will often result in self-harm—and in some cases, suicide—if the individual is angry enough about their actions.

Moving Away From Anger Through Sobriety

Those who go through anger management courses may not find full recovery as they still suffer from addiction. On the flipside, those who detox and enter addiction recovery may find that they still experience intense anger in sobriety. For this reason, it is essential for individuals to make sure that both anger and addiction are thoroughly addressed in order to establish a strong path toward sobriety.

Chapters Capistrano provides an exceptional addiction recovery atmosphere for those looking to break free from life’s pressures and start focusing on drug and alcohol rehabilitation. With on-site detox and a variety of wellness programs, we strive to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Those who experience anger issues, or any other mental health challenges, along with their addiction will not only benefit from our flexible treatment options, but also our provision of dual diagnosis therapies.

To learn more about how Chapters Capistrano can help you achieve sobriety and stability, call us today at 949-276-2886.

Medical disclaimer:

Chapters Capistrano strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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