Is There a Link Between Alcohol and Aggression?
Alcohol consumption produces different effects for each person that drinks it. It is often said that there are many personalities of a person that is drunk as each individual person will demonstrate different emotional states and responses while under the influence. While there are times that individuals may exhibit signs of happiness or giddiness, there are times when alcohol abuse can lead to anger or aggression. Oftentimes, many individuals will engage in alcohol consumption and not know what the end result will be for their emotional state and responses.
Alcohol impacts a person’s brain chemistry, altering your thinking, emotional responses, and perceptions of what is happening around you. As you become intoxicated or impaired from alcohol consumption, your ability to rationalize and process situations or emotions becomes significantly hindered. For some people, engaging in alcohol consumption, turning to alcohol is a method of coping or self-medicating for an underlying reason or to manage trauma. When alcohol is used as a coping method, it can increase the heightened responses from individuals when provoked or triggered which can be a direct correlation between alcohol and aggression for some. For others, alcohol can create impulsivity, resulting in an inability to think about the consequences or repercussions of your actions, leading to reckless behaviors that can result in aggressive or angry outbursts that can cause harm to others.
Drinking alcohol has the potential to produce a wide range of emotions within each person and can easily turn from one gesture or interaction to the next. The unpredictability of impairment by alcohol can lead to many unforeseen consequences or emotional outbursts that can lead to high-risk behaviors or challenging interactions. As alcohol abuse increases, people are more likely to experience an inability to control emotions as they attempt to numb or mask the underlying emotions or traumas that have contributed to their drinking behaviors. Finding help to address your alcohol abuse within an addiction treatment program will invite you to explore the root causes of your alcohol abuse while providing you with the tools and capability to overcome difficult emotions or responses without turning to alcohol as a means of coping.
What the Research Shows About Alcohol Making Some People Angry
Alcohol consumption can profoundly affect a person’s emotional and physical responses within their day-to-day life and interactions. In some instances, alcohol can create feelings of sadness; for others, anger and aggression arise from alcohol consumption. Specific risk factors emotionally, cognitively, socially, and neurobiologically can increase the risks of anger and aggression occurring. Research has shown that there is an increase in anger and aggression for individuals with the following risk factors:
- Engaging in binge drinking
- If you are a male
- Experiencing underlying irritability or agitation
- Having a high level of trait anger regularly which can be exacerbated with the consumption of alcohol
- Having an inability to feel or a lack of empathy
- When you have a sensation-seeking personality
- Associating with friends and family who demonstrate acts of aggression or anger while drinking which then influence your own behavior
Research has shown that the effects of alcohol can worsen or be heightened due to neuroinflammation resulting in worsening gut or microbiome states and changes within nutrition. If you are deficient in specific essential nutrients or minerals, it can influence the impacts of alcohol consumption since alcoholics will have a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids which has been known to increase aggressive or angry behaviors. Additionally, if you mix alcohol with other substances or caffeine, the instances of hostility and aggression will increase.
21 Signs of Problematic Alcohol Use
Alcohol consumption is often normalized within American culture with many celebrations and social functions and as a method to cope with troubling emotions or decompress after a stressful day. While there are ways to engage in moderate alcohol consumption, signs and indicators to be mindful of can indicate that your alcohol consumption has progressed into problematic alcohol abuse. Signs that your alcohol use has progressed into problematic alcohol abuse are:
- Feeling powerless to control your alcohol use and rate of alcohol consumption
- Loss of interest or decline in engagement in activities or hobbies that once brought you joy
- Expressing a desire to quit drinking or cut back on your alcohol consumption but experiencing failed attempts at doing so
- Experiencing impairment in memory
- Poor or impaired coordination
- Experiencing strong cravings for alcohol when you are not under the influence of alcohol to attempt to quit drinking
- Engaging in high-risk behaviors while drinking such as drinking and driving
- Demonstrating a decline in performance in your work or academic studies
- Developing a tolerance for alcohol where you need to drink larger quantities of alcohol to reach the same desired effects
- A significant amount of your time is devoted to thinking about, planning for, and engaging in alcohol consumption
- Experiencing a decline in physical health and functioning due to your alcohol abuse
- Isolating from loved ones
- Hiding or lying about your drinking
- Feeling distressed at the thought of having a lack of alcohol available to you or running out of alcohol
- Experiencing problems within your relationships due to your alcohol consumption
- When you stop drinking, experience the onset of withdrawal symptoms
- When you do experience withdrawal symptoms, return to alcohol use to minimize or eliminate the
- withdrawal symptoms
- Having “blackouts” when drinking and not having any recollection of what had occurred while you were under the influence
- Difficulty with motor coordination and functioning while impaired
- Changing your social circle to surround yourself with others that are engaging in alcohol abuse
Learn more about the behavioral effects of alcohol here:
Get Help With Alcohol Abuse at WhiteSands Alcohol & Drug Rehab
Alcohol addiction and abuse can happen to anyone and for several reasons. At WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, we believe that each person who enters our treatment facility has a unique story of alcohol addiction that deserves to be treated within a program that maintains dignity and respect. Through our individualized treatment programs, patients are provided with a personalized treatment plan that is centered around their unique circumstances with addiction and developed with their goals for addiction recovery in mind. With the support of a comprehensive treatment plan that utilizes the leading evidence-based therapy methods, patients can explore the underlying cause of their alcohol addiction and get treatment at a Tampa Florida rehab.
For many individuals living with an addiction, you did not intend on developing an addiction when they began drinking alcohol. In fact, many believe that their alcohol use is a form of recreation or a way to relax. However, the longer you engage in alcohol use and the amount of alcohol you are drinking increases, it can lead someone down a path of addiction. At the root of most addictions are underlying emotional wounds or traumas that have impacted your ability to manage day-to-day life stressors leading to you turning to alcohol as a form of self-medicating or coping. With the support of evidence-based therapy methods, patients will be able to heal from their underlying causes of addiction while gaining the necessary tools for coping and tools for relapse prevention that will ensure they can maintain long-term sobriety.
WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab is committed to supporting our patients as they heal from their past, discover their true selves again in sobriety, and support you in developing a new way of life that fosters sober living, personal growth, and stability. Contact us today to learn more about the personalized treatment plan we will create for you and begin your journey toward addiction recovery now.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.