Learning to Control Anger in Substance Abuse Treatment

Learning to Control Anger in Substance Abuse Treatment

Many emotions can affect a person’s progress in substance abuse treatment, but the most damaging is definitely anger. Anger can consume a person’s mind and take their focus off what matters during their treatment stay. There are many reasons for a person struggling with an addiction to be angry, but there are more reasons for them to let that anger go. Anger can debilitate the learning and treatment process during the recovery process, so it’s best to recognize and reverse it as best as possible.

The Negative Impact of Anger in Substance Abuse Treatment

  • Anger and resentment can cost friendships and valuable support from family members during substance abuse treatment.
  • It can cause negative impacts on life like loss of employment or romantic relationship.
  • Feelings of anger can lead to sleeplessness and insomnia.
  • Insomnia brought on by anger may lead to health problems like cardiovascular disease.
  • Angry people can have impaired judgment because their anger controls them. Mistakes like legal issues could ensue if anger is acted upon.
  • Because anger is hard to control, an angry person can display violent behavior.
  • Experiencing anger can lead to feelings of shame and guilt if acted upon.
  • Anger can be a trigger for someone in recovery and lead to a relapse.

Passive-Aggressive Anger in Substance Abuse Treatment

Those that display passive-aggressive anger in substance abuse treatment may appear to be alright on the outside, but inwardly they are stricken with anger. Instead of displaying their rage in violent behaviors, they use their anger against others in an attempt to release it. The passive-aggressive recovering addict will likely display:

Apathy: They will not care about what is going on around them during treatment. They may even pretend to not care about their own well-being at all.

Manipulation: To attempt to rid of the anger, the passive-aggressive addict will take it out on others in the form of manipulation. They will make others feel guilty or shameful because of their own anger. Additionally, they may poke others’ buttons to get a displayed reaction.

Secretive Behaviors: The passive-aggressive addict will try to remain hidden by sulking. Also, they will spread rumors or complaints about people behind their backs.

Working on Anger in Substance Abuse Treatment

It’s important to deal with anger in substance abuse treatment so that it doesn’t cause a relapse. Many people have developed an addiction because they used drugs or alcohol as a self-medication for the emotions they can’t handle. Anger is one of the hardest emotions to deal with, so it is important to try to steer clear from in recovery. Some techniques for managing anger in substance abuse treatment include:

  • Mindfulness Meditation: Meditation is a great way to check yourself. During meditation, try to understand where your anger stems from. Once you can identify the cause, you can render a solution. Additionally, meditation promotes a sense of inner peace that will help those struggling with managing anger.
  • Exercise: This is a great way to release tension in stress. When the body works off some steam, you won’t have the energy to stay angry all the time. Additionally, exercising produces endorphins in the body that help to regulate emotion.
  • Therapy: Intentionally identifying and confronting the reason for your anger will be the only way to accept and move forward so that you can continue the recovery process.