There are a number of links between alcohol and anger. The two are often intertwined. In some cases anger issues can make a person more likely to drink alcohol to excess. In others, drinking can impair the ability to assess situations and manage feelings of anger.
Alcohol can have a significant impact on a person’s propensity for and ability to control anger. Alcohol can affect judgement and reasoning and influence the way we perceive a situation or comment. When someone has been drinking alcohol, they may see an event in a skewed way or perhaps over-exaggerate its importance and significance. Drinking too much alcohol can sometimes make people behave irrationally. Many fights break out because people have been drinking and are reacting to a situation more angrily than they normally would.
Also, sometimes people who have a problem with anger also use alcohol to hide from their angry feelings.
Someone who is an alcoholic may experience increased feelings of anger. They may be angry at themselves for feeling unable to control their cravings for alcohol and they may experience anger directed at others who try to stop them from drinking or ask them to cut down. They may also become agitated if they can’t get access to the alcohol which they crave.
Anger can be a problem for people attempting to end their addiction to alcohol too. Feelings of anger are common as strong cravings take hold. Situations and relationships can make people angry and a common reaction in recovering alcoholics is to turn to alcohol.
Those trying to beat alcohol addiction are advised to avoid aggravating and stressful situations as far as possible and to use techniques for managing stress. Counselling and therapy can help with this. It can help recovering alcoholics develop coping strategies which don’t include alcohol. It can also help them spot anger triggers and situations which make them want to turn to alcohol.