The concept of “dry drunk syndrome” was originated by the creators of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and was officially defined by R.J. Solberg in his 1970 book on the subject as “the presence of actions or attitudes that characterized the alcoholic prior to recovery.” Essentially, a dry drunk is a person who has stopped using alcohol but has failed to make the necessary emotional, psychological, and lifestyle changes to completely overcome their addiction and achieve full recovery.
Typically, dry drunks stop using alcohol without the assistance of addiction counseling or treatment. This lack of professional help and peer support prevents the alcoholic from developing the skills needed to achieve peace about their decision to refrain from further use. Dry drunks often experience feelings of resentment, jealousy, depression, anger, and fear, leading them to lash out against loved ones in negative and unpredictable ways.
Family and friends affected by dry drunk syndrome should consider attending support groups like Al-Anon and Alateen and should encourage their loved one to seek professional treatment or attend a 12-step program even if they have not consumed alcohol in a long time.
The residential treatment program at the Asana Recovery Center offers a variety of different therapy options designed to help those struggling at any stage of addiction. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our facilities and find out whether our treatment program may be right for you.