Dry Drunk Syndrome and What is a Dry Drunk?

There might be resentment because they could see their family or loved ones as having “forced” them to stop drinking. They may be frustrated at realizing they can’t drink as other people do, or they could struggle to take responsibility for the years they spent drinking. You could feel as if you were walking on eggshells around the person. It could also be a dry drunk codependent relationship, where you feel a sense of guilt or responsibility toward the person. The term “Dry Drunk” was first coined by the creator of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). Dry drunk describes someone who has removed alcohol from their lives without removing the initial components that cause or contribute to alcohol dependency.

On the contrary, they’re masters at sleight of hand, of fooling others their behavior is perfectly fine. As such, they are often extraordinarily adept at lying, especially to themselves. They are also likely to shift blame to others and get them to accept responsibility for consequences, rather than take responsibility for the problem. If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact at

Dry drunk syndrome and co-occurring disorders

This can be easier said than done, but even trying to accomplish one of these things is a step in the right direction. It doesn’t have to cost anything and has huge benefits for both body and mind. Guests at Delamere enjoy yoga and dance as part of their residential rehab programme at our wellness retreat which have multiple restorative benefits. Next, anyone in recovery can face serious life setbacks that draws them back into their old ways of thinking and feeling. All of a sudden, they might feel out of place in counseling or in support groups and stop going altogether.

They might feel frustrated or angry, struggle with their desire to drink, or express a lot of negative thoughts. Talking to loved ones about what you’re experiencing and sharing as much as you feel comfortable with can help them understand your distress. This can also help you reconnect and make it easier for them to offer empathy and support when your feelings and emotions trigger thoughts of drinking. While the phrase “dry drunk” is controversial, the set of symptoms it refers to are a normal part of recovery for plenty of people and nothing to be ashamed about. When you choose to stop drinking, you’re taking a significant first step. In most cases, though, getting sober is a lot more complex than simply giving up alcohol.

Reaching Out For Support In Addiction Recovery

While remaining sober is the number one goal of most recovery programs it is only the first step in the process or truly recovering and healing the damage of alcoholism. Recognizing when someone is a “dry drunk” or dealing with dry drunk syndrome is important for real long-term recovery. People often use the term “dry drunk” to describe someone who is not actively using alcohol but is still experiencing any of the symptoms of alcoholism. If you’ve been through an alcohol rehab programme at a recognised treatment centre, you’ll already be well equipped with the tools to maintain your sobriety. We understand this isn’t always a straight path and it takes great courage and resolve to overcome your triggers and remain in active recovery. When negative thoughts and behaviours start to creep in, there are some additional healthy habits you can adopt to cope with the symptoms of dry drunk syndrome.

  • You may be dismayed to find there is something else to deal with, but at least you have a start!
  • These individuals may still carry around the emotional baggage or unhealthy thought patterns that contributed to their addiction in the first place.
  • The colloquial term is used to describe someone who is sober but is still struggling with the emotional and psychological issues that contributed to their drinking.
  • It refers to traits and behaviors often seen with alcohol use that persist into recovery.
  • When you choose to stop drinking, you’re taking a significant first step.
  • In addition to simply stopping the use of alcohol or drugs, it’s also necessary to identify the root causes of why a person struggles with addiction and work on ways to overcome those issues as well.

Often overlooked, but of paramount importance, are lifestyle choices. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, and stress-reducing techniques such as meditation can play a pivotal role. Such habits promote physical well-being, which in turn, supports emotional and mental health. Dry drunk syndrome accompanies the phenomenon known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome or PAWS. Symptoms of PAWS include poor coordination and balance, delayed reflexes, mood swings, depression and dizziness. An individual battling PAWS symptoms may appear to others as if they’re intoxicated when, in fact, they are sober.

Recovery is Always Possible

Alcoholism is often a symptom of an underlying issue that requires changes in behavior and lifestyle to achieve and maintain sobriety. Without any changes in behavior and lifestyle, sobriety is likely difficult to maintain because a person is still dependent on alcohol as a reliable crutch. Opening up to others can be difficult and even intimidating at first, but it’s an essential part of the sober alcoholic meaning recovery process. Talking to loved ones and other people in recovery is a great way to connect and rebuild your support network. Beating dry drunk syndrome is about conquering the issues that led you to drink in the first place. Without counseling the therapy, these feelings can amplify causing someone to lash out at themselves and loved ones, and to engage in a number of unhealthy behaviors.

  • If going to the gym or doing at-home workouts doesn’t sound appealing, you can look for alternative ways to get your body moving.
  • All Addiction Resource content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.
  • There is no right or wrong way for a person to recover from AUD, so a person should not compare their recovery journey with that of other people.
  • Admission Line and explanation of convenient private phone and free prescreening.
  • Only trained and licensed medical professionals can provide such services.
  • Many recovering alcoholics will experience some symptoms of dry drunk syndrome.
  • Often a person who has PAWS or dry drunk syndrome hasn’t made behavioral or emotional changes or has started to regress to old ways of thinking.

For recovery to be successful, you have to deal with any mental health issues or trauma that contributed to your substance abuse problems. Getting professional help to tackle these issues head on is the best way to help prevent an alcohol relapse. For an alcoholic, or anyone who struggles with a substance use disorder, there’s a big gap between sobriety and actively recovering from addiction. Stopping alcohol use or other addictive substances is only the first step on the journey to a meaningful, productive, and lasting recovery. The term Dry Drunk Syndrome, or simply Dry Drunk, refers to a person who quit drinking alcohol but still has destructive or unhealthy behaviors related to addiction.

How to Cope With Dry Drunk Syndrome

They may become defensive and justify themselves quickly, and they may appear disengaged or like they lack motivation. Dry Drunk Syndrome provides the illusion of independence from alcohol. But in reality, it is simply a vicious https://ecosoberhouse.com/ cycle of removing the perceived issue only to return to it because it’s just a self-prescribed solution to the actual issue. Dry Drunk Syndrome is also commonly referred to as “white knuckling” for this exact reason.

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