Dry Drunk Syndrome: Sobriety Without Relief

You may have heard of the condition called “dry drunk syndrome”. It’s a very real, very acute problem for many people who have partially overcome an addiction to alcohol. They still struggle, because they aren’t able to move past their anger of not being able to turn to alcohol for comfort and relief. Getting past dry drunk syndrome takes time, but it is important for the recovering addict, as well as those around him or her.

What is Dry Drunk Syndrome?

florida-rehabIt may seem difficult to understand, but for alcoholics, drinking has become akin to friendship. When they give up drinking, they can grieve as though they were giving up a companion. Imagine if you had to turn away from your best friend and never see him or her again in your life. This kind of hardship and hurt is what the alcoholic feels when he or she stops drinking. For those who are not alcoholics, it can be challenging to understand. But the anger for the recovering alcoholic is real.

Unfortunately, the “dry drunk” cannot move past that anger. He or she is sober, but is not able to enjoy sobriety. Each day is filled with resentment and negativity. This does not necessarily lead to relapse, but it does take the satisfaction out of being able to live a full, healthy life without alcohol.

What Are Dry Drunk Syndrome Symptoms?

Those who are around a recovering alcoholic who has dry drunk syndrome may notice that he or she is exhibiting certain behaviors or attitudes, including:

  • Bitterness toward all the people in his or her life.
  • Feelings of self-loathing because they didn’t achieve what they thought they would in their lives due to their alcohol addiction.
  • Anxiety about making any kind of major life decisions rather than remaining stagnant and in a safe — albeit unhappy — place.
  • Jealousy toward others who seem to be pleased despite their sobriety, and who have moved past the angry feelings associated with losing the ability to reach for a glass of liquor, bottle of wine or beer.

Reading through these symptoms, it’s easy to see how frustrating dry drunk syndrome can seem for both the person suffering from the condition and his or her loved ones.

Understanding Dry Drunk Syndrome and How to Deal With Dry Drunk Symptoms

In order to move past dry drunk syndrome, it is critical for the person experiencing the dry drunk symptoms to seek help. Closest companions may also wish to seek treatment for themselves so they can learn how to provide more effective help for their loved one. Dealing with dry drunk symptoms can be difficult — the dry drunk sufferer cannot provide support and may drain the positivity from conversations, decisions and social arrangements.

Above all else, it is essential to reach out to 12 Keys Rehab for more information on how to help everyone involved in this kind of experience. It is truly possible to move past dry drunk syndrome, along with the anger and resentment linked with it.


The Addiction Blog