The goal of every alcohol addiction treatment program is to get the addict to stop drinking and be able to live normally – away from the influence of alcohol. However, it is often more complicated in reality because of an issue that often pops up – the Dry drunk syndrome. To understand the dry drunk syndrome, it is germane to know what “dry drunk” is. So, what is a dry drunk?
The simplest Dry drunk definition is that it is an exhibition of alcoholic behaviors and characteristics that occur after recovery from alcohol addiction. The syndrome is a psychological issue that can happen to anyone and is especially rampant among addicts who quit the habit without the aid of any medical professional or support. It is very minimal among addicts who went through the process of detox and other rehab processes.
Since alcohol addiction often develops as a coping mechanism against a psychological issue, it becomes tormenting when the user is stripped of the protection that the substance affords after they quit. Hence, people dealing with the dry drunk syndrome often exhibit signs of an alcoholic personality in a bid to get the security they felt with the addiction back.
Dry Drunk Syndrome: The History
There might have been the existence of dry drunk syndrome as early as the first case of recovery from addiction, but the term “dry drunk syndrome” itself is credited to Alcohol Anonymous – the creators of the infamous 12-step program. In 1970, a book was published by R.J. Solberg, The Dry Drunk Syndrome. In the book, he defined the syndrome as “the presence of actions and attitudes that characterized the alcoholic prior to recovery.”
The dry drunk meaning, according to Solberg, explains that while an addict might have overcome the physical dependence on alcohol and can live without it, they are yet to overcome the real reason they became an addict in the first place. Alcohol addiction is deep-rooted in emotion, and such individuals are, however, to overcome the emotional issues that led them to abuse the substance. Hence, they may exhibit angry drunk psychology traits such as a resentful and strained relationship with family and friends, unhealthy habits, etc.
Since 1955, psychologists who have carried out several exclusive types of research opined that the best chance an individual has in overcoming dry drunk syndrome is to work on the real cause of the addiction, rather than just desiring to stop taking alcohol.
Dry Drunk Syndrome: The Symptoms
Often, an individual who has quit drinking may find themselves asking this question: why do I feel drunk when I have not been drinking? The simple answer is that the individual is exhibiting dry drunk symptoms of the syndrome. Some of these are:
- Alcoholic rage and feeling of negativity towards the experience of recovery
- Alcoholic personality changes from optimism to anxiety and fear of relapse, which may lead to depression.
- Creating a new addiction to replace alcohol
- Self-obsession and social awkwardness
- Anger and resentment towards loved ones
- Exhibiting feeling drunk without drinking symptoms such as dehydration, belching, dry mouth, disorientation, etc.
- Becoming jealous and envious of others without addiction.
How You Can Help People With Dry Drunk Syndrome?
When dry drunk syndrome occurs, most alcoholics become discouraged and unwilling to continue their treatments. This is expected because they feel as if their efforts have been a waste. Hence, it becomes essential to as much encouragement as possible to help them focus on the main goal of becoming a sober alcoholic. Also, to avoid depression in ex-alcoholic, some of these activities can be of great help:
- Learning a new hobby
- Meditating or yoga
- Engaging in sport activities
- Reading of inspirational books etc
The best help you can render to alcoholics is to help them seek professional medical support. At the Alcoholics Anonymous Recovery Center, we offer rehabilitation services for alcohol addiction. Depending on what works for you, we offer both individual and group therapy sessions that aim to help identify the real cause(s) of your addiction and help you fight them off. We also have a community with planned meetings to communicate and share perspectives with others. Remember that dry drunk syndrome can be treated with the right medical support and care, and this is what we offer.