Dry Drunk Syndrome
A dry drunk syndrome is a colloquial term used widely in the alcoholic recovery community to refer to someone who has stopped drinking but still displays the same traits and behaviours that are typical of alcoholics. The term recognizes that alcohol is a complex disorder that takes a comprehensive treatment, not just a single alcohol detox program, in order to permanently stop drinking. Alcoholism is a disease of the mind, not of the body, and that in itself is an extremely powerful incentive for a drinker to return to alcohol. With proper assistance, however, even an alcoholic who has left the problem behind can bring that same power back into his or her life and find success in sobriety. Alcoholism is an illness, not a crime. It does not seem like everyone we meet wants to prescribe drugs to help someone else get through their problem. When it comes to addiction, we are all more likely to look for the quick fix than a long-term solution. But what if we took a closer look at what alcoholism really is? What if we examined what the 12-step method of treatment was really intended to do and discovered that the program simply didn’t cut it?
suffering from Dry Drunk Syndrome
One of the most common problems associated with people suffering from alcoholism is that they have developed a certain type of resistance to receiving help when it is called for. This resistance is rooted in the belief, “All I have to do is stop drinking and everything will be OK”. Unfortunately, this is usually not enough to motivate someone suffering from addiction to return to a sober lifestyle and, in fact, it can make the problem worse as it creates more mental obstacles to overcome. For someone struggling with a dry drunk syndrome, the concept of simply giving up the drinking may be perceived as an invitation to relapse. The belief that the drinking must be continued is often used to convince the recovering loved one to hang in there even through the worst of times and even when their own life demands a different course.
Recovery from a dry drunk syndrome should never begin by pushing the issue or making promises that things will get better. Recovering from an addiction is not a one-time event but a lifelong process. One way to help the recovering loved one to avoid this is to offer as much support as possible to keep them actively involved in the recovery process. If the recovering person’s loved one can see that they have support available from friends and family, it can help them believe that it is going to get better and can actually strengthen their resolve. If a friend has been through a rehab center before, that person may be able to use that familiarity to provide encouragement and support for the recovering loved one.
Helping your loved one avoid the feelings of shame and embarrassment that come along with a dry drunk syndrome is also important for them to recover fully. Acknowledging and honoring those feelings can help them feel more in control of their recovery and in control of the stigma attached to the syndrome. When they recognize the difficulties they face, they can work on ways to make the transition to sobriety easier and less painful. They can work on ways to develop a support system that consists of family and friends who are willing to lend a sympathetic ear and share their own feelings and experiences.
There are many ways to help a person suffering from a dry drunk syndrome while they are in recovery. Therapies can range from behavioral therapy to religious based to psychotherapy. The most important thing is to understand why a person resorts to drinking and work on ways to change the way they approach drinking. A person recovering from alcoholism will usually need a lot of encouragement to keep going when they face resistance from their own mind. The more support they get, the more likely they will be to resist the temptations to return to drinking once they have started to sober up. Many people who suffer from alcoholism eventually find sobriety beneficial in all areas of their life.