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Anger and Alcoholism

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When you stepped into the house, the smell of alcohol lingered in the air. It instantly made you tense up. Your partner’s history of alcohol use wasn’t new, but recently they’d started drinking more and it had started to impact their emotions. Specifically, they were generally much quicker to anger than they usually are. 

Honestly, it scared you. They’d shouted over little things, thrown bottles, and punched a hole in a new Wyland painting you’d bought, costing you thousands of dollars. You’d been moderately concerned about their alcohol use before, but now you just wanted them to look into help for their anger and alcoholism. Not just for them, but for yourself. You wanted to feel safe again.

Here in California, there are over 100 incidents every hour caused by alcohol use. Alcohol use is attributed to a variety of crimes, personal injuries, domestic abuse, and more. Here at Pacific Sands, we offer comprehensive treatment options that are solution-focused to help people step away from alcohol and substance use and toward recovery. We know how often other concerns like anger management can be a key component in addressing your healing. Today we’re going to talk further about how alcoholism and anger can impact each other.

exploring link between anger and alcoholism

The Relationship Between Alcoholism and Anger

There are many studies that have peered into the correlation between alcoholism and anger. These studies tend to primarily focus on men. Why exactly is that? What have the results been? 

One of the studies, done in 2017, focused on 100 male participants who regularly drank alcohol, and took note of how it impacted their anger. The general link between men, alcohol, and aggression comes primarily from how men are taught to express said aggression. Other studies show consistently that women experience anger as often as men, but men tend to be more violent in their reactions more frequently than women.

So, what exactly is the tie-in between anger and aggression?

How Alcohol Affects Anger and Aggression

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. That means it impacts the way that our brain can communicate with the rest of our body. Because of this, you see lowered inhibitions in people who are drunk. You might also notice people having a “lack of filter” in how they behave and speak.

This effect is what leads to aggressive behavior and responses in those who drink. It’s important to know that not everyone who drinks will have this response, but if someone is already managing anger concerns, or is quick to anger outside of alcohol use, this will be heightened when they’re intoxicated. You wouldn’t have the same ability to rationalize or control your emotions, so you’re more likely to lash out.

How Long-Term Alcohol Use Can Make Anger Worse

Long-term or heavy alcohol use can lead to a wide variety of side effects. While there are many physical side effects of alcoholism like high blood pressure, liver damage, increased risk of stroke, and more – it’s the behavioral side effects that can play a role in impacting anger management.

Alcohol use can lead to brain damage, especially when drunk frequently or in large quantities. This brain damage can impact memory, problem-solving, and cause behavior problems. These changes to the mind can impact already present anger. It can cause people to lash out more often, make it more difficult to rationalize not enacting anger and more. 

With proper treatment, however, this can be addressed over time.

How Treatment Can Address Alcoholism and Anger 

When someone is dealing with alcoholism and anger, it’s important that both components are considered during treatment. Anger issues are usually already present before the alcohol use starts – the alcohol use just exacerbates it. In other words, if the anger isn’t addressed, it will only return, even if you’ve stopped drinking.

During recovery, if one concern is addressed and not the other, it can impact the chances of long-term recovery. When someone has two conditions or more, it’s known as a dual diagnosis. In this case, those two things are alcoholism and anger management concerns. Our team here at Pacific Sands is fully equipped to address both of these concerns simultaneously to set our clients up for long-term success.

Woman is sitting in chair at an appointment with a psychologist.

How Pacific Sands Can Help You With Your Recovery Journey

At Pacific Sands we have an intimate facility, offering 6 private beds to our clients. We like to work on a one-on-one level so we can help you address your healing goals and reach them. We know exactly how unique each recovery journey is and want to help you along every step of the way.

We offer the full continuum of recovery services in our alcohol rehab program, from detox to inpatient and outpatient services. We also have dual diagnosis programs to help address both alcohol use and mental and behavioral health concerns brought to us by our clients. We want to make sure you have access to the resources you need to set you up for long-term recovery. 

If you’re looking to get started on your recovery journey, Pacific Sands is here to help. We treat dual diagnosis with a unique, whole-person inspired approach. Reach out today at 949-426-7962 and we can answer any questions you may have.


  • I would just like to share how Grateful I am with my experience through my addiction at this facility. I couldn’t possibly ask to be in such a “SAFE/COMFORTABLE” environment while receiving treatment for my addiction. I would just like to say Thank you sooo much to ALL the staff there from the Nurse’s to counselors and therapist all of you are a True Blessing in helping me through my journey of sobriety. I couldn’t feel more comfortable there on how they monitored my physical health and on dealing with my emotional health with there therapy sessions and groups I truly see them ALL as Family!

    Andrew N.
  • As a professional in the recovery field I have worked with many detox centers and none compare to The this one. Their staff is incredibly attentive and knowledgable regarding the needs of individuals seeking recovery from the very start. Their facility is welcoming and homey while remaining very luxe. I would recommend this facility to any loved one or friend looking to start down their journey of sobriety.

  • This place helped saved my life, and a great stepping stone to get my life on the right track. Was there first client under new management, caring staff and owners, comfortable place to get you on your feet in sobriety.

  • Great Staff. Comfortable Environment. Awesome place to Get Clean and Sober. Thank you guys for everything.


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    1909 W Carlton Pl
    Santa Ana, CA 92704


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