Addiction and Anger Management


It’s common for people to seek counseling for anger management, especially when they’ve come to a point in their life where even the smallest things upset them. While feelings of anger are completely valid in certain circumstances, the actions we take dictated by that anger are sometimes inappropriate, uncalled for, or dangerous. 

When suffering from addiction, it’s easier for our inhibitions to be lowered, which causes us to act on certain feelings in ways we normally wouldn’t. Not being able to control your anger can impact your relationships and work-life and lead to legal trouble. According to some studies, it can also have physical effects on our health, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or psychological disorders.

It’s hard to know what causes anger management issues. For some, they may just be naturally irritable. Common struggles that perpetuate anger issues include stress and anxiety, depression, general mental instability, or problems with personal relationships. Regardless of how you do it, managing your anger is essential, especially to prevent it from ruling our choices and actions. This is especially true when suffering from addiction. If you or someone close to you is struggling from addiction, seeking recovery, and looking to improve upon anger management issues as well, The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center can help you today.

Recognizing When Your Anger Is a Problem

For some, seeing the lines between severe anger issues and just blowing off steam can be blurred. A prime example is road rage. Admittedly, having road rage can cause many problems, even putting people’s lives at risk. It’s generally not a good thing for us to experience; yet, it is pretty common. The issue comes when the littlest thing sets someone off very easily. 

The problem with feeling anger is when it’s too intense or frequent and happens easily, mostly at inappropriate levels. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration (SAMHSA) in their anger management manual, frequent and intense anger causes physical strain and, when prolonged, these episodes of range cause parts of the nervous system to become “highly activated,” leading to increased blood pressure and heart rate or a weakened immune system.

As mentioned, the inability to control your anger can lead to legal problems. In their anger management manual, SAMHSA indicated that violence due to anger may lead to being arrested, the loss of your job, or severely hurting others, not to mention yourself. People often say things they shouldn’t during fits of rage. Even if what we’re trying to say conveys how we’re feeling accurately, being hurtful about it will affect your relationships, cause resentment, and may even make you or others feel alienated.

The Connection Between Anger and Addiction

Individuals often fall into a toxic cycle when feeling anger and struggling with addiction. Many people experience anger healthily but, when addiction or substance use disorder (SUD) are involved, it can exacerbate the effects of anger-filled reactions. The cycle people suffer from is using drugs or alcohol to deal with feelings of anger, and substance use makes the feelings even worse. The combination can be volatile and can reap even worse effects when people make decisions while being blind with rage and under the influence.

During addiction treatment, clients can learn to end the cycle of toxicity. For starters, once detoxed from an addictive substance, you can begin thinking and seeing clearer as your mind reconnects with your body. Through behavioral therapy, group therapy, and relapse prevention, you’ll learn more about yourself, your struggles, and how to get better. By learning to cope with your anger, you’ll be able to better control the emotion as you continue living your life of recovery.

Healthy Ways to Channel and Cope With Anger

There are many ways for you to cope with your anger and channel it into something healthy. Many of these methods can be done on your own. 

For example, physical activity can be a great stress reliever and helps you manage anger and frustration. It’s also helpful to develop creative coping outlets like painting, playing an instrument, or any other creative hobby. Another method implemented by many is journaling. Putting your feelings onto paper can help people feel free of them. While it may not fix the problems causing your anger, it’ll help you to focus on the core of that anger and handle it better.

Outside of treatment, people can attend anger management classes or try therapy to learn anger management skills. Addiction treatment is the perfect time to begin learning those new skills. In particular, the holistic treatment program of The Ohana will help to treat you in a whole-person approach. 

If managing your anger is a primary goal, our team will work with you to integrate it into your individualized treatment plan. If addiction and anger have put you on a path with health problems, legal trouble, or a heightened struggle with addiction, let The Ohana start you on your recovery adventure today.

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