Unlike dry drunk patients, there are those who can give up drinking and then lead a relatively normal, balanced life without any further assistance. These individuals, however, seem to be in the minority. Many recovering alcoholics need additional help. This can be in the form of support groups, medications, or behavioral therapy.
For those who give up drinking and remain (or return to) behaviorally, emotionally and psychologically a drunk, we have a term, "Dry Drunk".
This term is obviously an oxymoron as it implies that a person is drunk without ingesting alcohol.
Dry Drunk Syndrome is a condition where an alcoholic retains the mental and behavioral traits associated with drunkenness even when he or she is not drinking alcohol. They are still struggling with the psychological and emotional maladies that might have actually fueled their addiction to start with, and carries on to have a grip on their consciousness.
Surely, one would think that the “dry” state is a critical objective for alcoholism treatment regimen. Unfortunately, the presence of this syndrome is actually an indication that an individual is in danger of alcohol relapse. He or she remains emotionally disturbed, mentally unstable and spiritually skewed despite quitting alcohol.
Thus, as an alcoholic, nothing significant has been achieved under a dry drunk condition aside from stopping the habit of drinking alcohol. In fact, the manifestation of typical signs of dry drunk syndrome is a red flag that we should be concerned about the individual and their recovery.
This syndrome (the existence of which is by no means universally accepted) is used by some in the addiction field to highlight the importance for comprehensive alcohol dependence treatment programs. It is not enough just to stop drinking.
For many, an important part of their recovery is having a solid foundation of understanding regarding the disease concept of addiction. This is often learned in treatment programs, either inpatient or outpatient. Programs also address any behavioral and/or emotional concerns that need to be addressed to have a healthy recovery.
A dry drunk will find that their daily routine is detached from reality, their relationships are still strained and their alcoholic behavior remains volatile and undesirable.
Overall, they find that being in recovery is not as pleasant as some make it out to be. These problems could become extremely physically and mentally draining, and cause the alcoholic to, unfortunately, relapse.
The feeling of total helplessness could be more than daunting.
Many individuals find that to have a healthy recovery, they need to engage in therapy. Individual counseling gives you the opportunity to address any destructive behaviors, traumas, and any other mental health concerns they may have.
A challenge that many find is that coping skills that do not involve alcohol and/or other drugs do not numb you from discomfort. Rather, they help you learn to sit with the discomfort and move on from it which can be a daunting task for someone used to numbing the discomfort.
Everyone has some sort of distortions, they are usually the result of experience and environment. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is commonly used to help work through problematic thought processes.
If you feel that you can relate to any of those, it may be worth speaking to a counselor or therapist. A common misconception is that you need to be struggling to work with a therapist or counselor.
The truth is, that everyone can benefit from counseling at some point in their life.
Dry drunk syndrome generally occurs within the first years of sobriety (intermittently during the early months). A recovering alcoholic needs to be aware of the typical signs of Dry Drunk Syndrome in order to prevent falling into relapse. Being aware of the red flags can help you catch yourself when struggling. If you do recognize any of the signs below, it is necessary to follow through with relapse prevention skills:
This can sometimes develop into anger management problems, which greatly complicate the recovery process. This can be present in their behaviors, postures and even the way that they speak to others.
Alcoholics could develop a lot of abnormal behaviors and attitudes. Other behaviors that can be part of this syndrome are as follows:
A part of having a healthy recovery includes having a safe plan for difficult times. There are many factors that can contribute to a difficult time including interpersonal troubles, financial stress, health concerns and job stress.
The hope is that you would have a list that you could fall back onto, however, if you do not, you can use the following suggestions as a reference:
While in rehab you will undergo a comprehensive treatment program including group therapy, counseling, relapse prevention etc. A large component of treatment programs is an education regarding the disease concept of addiction and how to cope with it. In other words all those things that will prevent you from becoming a dry drunk.
You can get your normal life back, the life that you’ve had before alcohol. The first step is asking for help. You may reach out to a treatment provider who can help you with the right treatment options for you.
|If you found this page helpful, then the following may be of interest to you: