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What Is a Dry Drunk & How to Recognize It

What Is a Dry Drunk & How to Recognize It

As a Martin County alcohol rehab center, we understand that finding lasting sobriety is about a lot more than no longer drinking.

Alcoholism can negatively impact several areas of someone’s life and just getting sober will not fix all of these problems. Those who are struggling to move past their alcohol abuse beyond their ability to stop drinking may be a dry drunk. 

What Is A Dry Drunk? A dry drunk is a term used to describe someone who is sober and quit drinking but who still exhibits the traits and behaviors that are characteristic of alcoholics. Often, dry drunks will engage in the same harmful or self-destructive behaviors that lead to their drinking in the first place. Because they have not taken the time to address the issues that accompanied their drinking problem, they may be doomed to relapse. 

Dry drunk syndrome is an idea that originated from the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) but has become widely used in the recovery community. Dry drunk syndrome is more common with people who stopped drinking on their own and, therefore, never took the time to look at the other areas of their life that need to change. The term recognizes that alcoholism is a disease that requires comprehensive healing, not just an alcohol detox program, to stop drinking. 

Dry Drunk Behavior to Watch Out For 

Everyone is unique and alcohol abuse falls on a wide spectrum. Because of this, the dry drunk symptoms can vary widely from one person to another, but generally, there are some red flags to look out for. 

Some examples of dry drunk behavior and symptoms may include:

  • Keeping strained or toxic relationships with others
  • Experiencing mood swings, irritability, or anger beyond normal withdrawal
  • Constant fear of relapse 
  • Engaging in unhealthy coping mechanisms 
  • Replacing drinking with another addiction 
  • Holding resentment toward others, especially those who encouraged them to stop drinking 
  • Jealousy toward people who can drink 
  • Trouble concentrating 
  • Acting impulsively
  • Being extremely hard on themselves
  • Associating with heavy drinkers or alcoholics
  • Going to bars often 
  • Fantasizing about drinking again or obsessing over alcohol 
  • Skipping meetings or not taking recovery as serious as they should 

All of these dry drunk behaviors can be a recipe for disaster and quickly lead back to addiction. To avoid this fate and to heal from alcoholism as a whole, a comprehensive treatment plan is necessary. Our Treasure Coast inpatient rehab helps people not only quit drinking but also address the secondary issues of their alcoholism and discover the root causes of their problems. With the use of evidence-based practices as well as holistic therapies, patients learn how to change their lives for the better and find lasting sobriety.    Alcohol abuse can be destructive, but treatment can help people put the pieces of their lives back together. Whether you are struggling with drinking yourself or have a loved one with an alcohol problem, we want to help.  

Reach out to us now at 888-280-4763 to learn more about how we may be able to help at Banyan Detox Stuart.

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
What Is a Dry Drunk & How to Recognize It
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