Skip to main content
827 E Market Street Louisville KY 40206 Phone: 502-586-4554 Email:

What is the Relationship between Alcohol and Anger?

It is a common occurrence for people to feel like a different person when they are drunk. Alcohol and anger often go hand in hand, causing drastic personality changes. Alcohol struggles lead to continued personality and behavioral changes, and without properly addressing the issue the changes remain and often worsen.

Drinking can lead people to say and do things they wouldn’t normally do. Struggling with drinking is common in the United States, and it is crucial to understand the effects that alcohol can have on an individual and their life. 

Alcohol and Anger: The Connection

The connection between alcoholism and anger can sometimes be obvious. The individual who drinks may not recognize the connection, but their loved ones often do. Alcohol exacerbates feelings of stress, anger, and aggression. It also reduces inhibitions and impairs judgment, resulting in misguided anger and aggression.

Chronic alcohol use can result in changes in brain chemistry as well as difficulty with emotional regulation, which can also contribute to the connection between alcohol and anger. 

Why Do Some Get Angry When Drinking?

The way that alcohol affects the brain often causes people to get angry when drinking. The brain’s prefrontal cortex gets impaired by alcohol. This is the portion of the brain that helps control emotions and impulsive behaviors.

When impaired, it leads to problems with self-control, increased impulsiveness, and increased likelihood of aggressive anger. Drinking can also cause existing feelings of frustration and irritation to be heightened, leading to exacerbated outbursts of anger.  

Alcohol and Anger: Which Comes First?

Alcohol and anger have a complex relationship and varies from person to person. Sometimes, when frustrations and anger exist within a person, they turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism. This often exacerbates the feelings and often leads to alcohol dependence. The relationship between alcoholism and anger outbursts can be difficult to understand.

On the other hand, the way alcohol affects the brain often leads to people becoming angry when drinking. Drinking lowers inhibitions and makes it easier to express anger and frustration that may be suppressed. Alcohol’s effects on the neurotransmitters in the brain can contribute to heightened emotional responses, resulting in people expressing their anger in unhealthy ways.

How Does Alcohol Influence Mood and Personality Changes?

The central nervous system (CNS) is vital for many everyday functions within the body, such as breathing, motor function, as well as behaviors. Alcohol alters brain function by impacting the CNS and neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. These are both responsible for regulating mood and emotions.

Drinking can lead to a sense of euphoria, relaxation, and a reduction in feelings of anxiety. However, continued drinking depresses brain activity impairing judgment increasing impulsive behaviors, and unstable emotions. Chronic drinking can lead to long-term changes in brain chemistry resulting in mood swings and increased aggression, causing people to get angry when drinking. 

How to Deal With A Drunk Angry Person

An angry drunk is not easy to deal with. If encountered, it can be an extremely difficult situation to endure, however, some pointers may help deal with it. First, it is important to remain calm. Maintaining composure is crucial to avoid escalating the situation.

It is also imperative that individuals ensure their safety. Removing potential weapons and keeping a safe distance helps to keep these individuals safe. Other important tips include using a soft tone, avoiding arguments, encouraging rest, seeking help, and if the aggression worsens, calling 911 or another professional. 

What Are Its Effects on Relationships?

The effects of alcohol and anger on relationships can be severe. This anger often leads to emotional and physical abuse, creating a fearful and mistrusting environment. Alcoholism and anger outbursts can also contribute to deteriorating communication causing physical and emotional withdrawal. The unpredictable nature of an angry drunk can lead to chronic stress, anxiety, and trauma for the individual. 

Signs of Alcoholism

Several signs could be indicative of someone struggling with alcohol. Alcoholism is a condition in which drinking has taken over the individual’s life, and they cannot stop despite the negative consequences they endure. Continued drinking despite these consequences is a sign of alcoholism.

Other signs include hiding the drinking, turning to alcohol to cope, personality changes, family or personal relationship problems, and reckless behavior. Understanding these signs and encouraging a loved one to get help can help reduce the impacts that alcohol and anger can have on someone’s life. 

Support and Treatment

For someone who is struggling with alcohol, having proper support is crucial. Treatment can help provide this support, and help teach the necessary tools and life-skills for healing. Alcohol addiction treatment provides a safe space where people can get to the root causes of their addiction, and address them to prevent relapse.

Healing is a necessary step to ensure long-term recovery for individuals who have found themselves struggling, and the treatment process can help prevent long-term impacts on their health and relationships. Professional support can help with any underlying mental health conditions and aid in the healing process. 

Prepare for A Life of Positive Change

Alcohol is one of the most easily accessible substances in the country. Many people turn to drinking when they are stressed, upset, or want to celebrate an event or milestone.

Often, and without warning, these individuals find themselves struggling with alcohol. There is help available. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol, we can help. At Louisville Addiction Center we provide a safe environment where people can begin their healing journey, and change their lives.

Call us today and begin your life of positive change.