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Dealing With Anger Management in Addiction Recovery

Anger is characterized by a strong feeling of agitation, grief or displeasure, and hostility. Yet, anger is a natural emotion that everyone can experience. When exhibited healthily, it is a normal emotion. Poor anger management may have harmful consequences for a person and their loved ones, especially if addiction is either a current or past factor.

When Do People in Recovery Usually Get Angry?

Anger can be activated for a wide variety of reasons. For example, most everyone gets angry when their safety is threatened, they lose money, or when they don’t get what they planned on receiving, or it is taken from them suddenly. Then there is anger towards family, friends, or partners that are often about betrayal, boundaries being crossed, unmet needs, or unresolved resentments. The latter is often where most people get angrier than someone else because it involves the inner workings of a family or marriage/ relationship. Still, the ability to cope with anger in a non-combative way is crucial in reducing substance-abuse problems that arise or worsen due to poor anger management.

Analyzing Anger Responses For Sober Individuals

A person recovering from drug or alcohol addictions may struggle to cope with anger healthily. People in new recovery less than a year clean and sober are experiencing the world in a new way, and it is not easy. Their old coping mechanism for when someone hurts them, causing them to feel mad, as a drug or drink, is no more. Also, the recovery process involves addressing the reasons that led them to need to consume alcohol or take drugs. Often the causes for addiction are intensely emotional and include:

  • History of Physical or Sexual Abuse
  • Neglect or Poverty
  • Traumatic Experiences
  • Betrayal and Abandonment

Are There Different Types of Anger?

Yes, many different names are given to various behaviors that express anger. The most familiar is passive aggression. Passive anger does not usually appear when a person exhibits negative emotions passively or subtly. For example, not answering the phone on purpose when a particular person calls who they are angry at. Another type of anger is ‘aggression,’ which includes yelling, hitting or breaking things, physical assault, or intimidation. Still, there are other forms of anger like manipulation, lying, and even provoking guilt. A category of healthy or good anger is called ‘assertive anger. ‘

Assertive anger is defined as showing confidence and standing up for one’s rights directly and honestly. (NCBI)

What Do The Experts Say About Anger And Recovery?

The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration researchers recommend cognitive behavioral therapy as one type of treatment to aid in an anger management program. Anger is often the cause of relapse. Therefore, it is an essential component of a treatment program.

Clinicians often see how anger and violence and substance use are linked. Many clients with substance use and mental health issues experience traumatic life events, which, in turn, lead to substance use, anger, and increased risk for violence. Meta-analyses have reliably demonstrated the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy in the treatment of addictions and other mental health issues, such as depression, traumatic stress, and anxiety. (SAMHSA)

Is Anger Management Therapy Offered at Drug Rehab Centers?

Evoke Wellness in Massachusetts provides group anger management that shows newly recovering individuals how to process anger and identify the pain causing the anger. In many cases, anger is a narrative played out in the person’s mind and may not be the reality. Evoke Wellness Anger Management is led by an expert therapist and works on the following:

  • Identifying the source of anger
  • Learning how to respond to the events or circumstances that provoke anger
  • Impulse control and redirection
  • Learning how to communicate without blaming
  • Understanding personal boundaries
  • Learning relaxation techniques and other coping skills

Anger Management for Addicted Individuals

Don’t let addiction and anger take over and ruin your life another day. There is a way to heal the pain that causes anger, and you are not alone. We provide same-day admission and evidence-based therapy forms, including cognitive behavioral therapy and anger management. Our treatment options include medically supervised detox, inpatient, intensive outpatient, outpatient, and sober living with aftercare. We have the expertise and the experience. Call now to start now!