Washington Residents Ask: What is a “Dry Drunk?”

The Recovery Village RidgefieldRehab

Silver flask.

For those new to recovery, the concept of a “dry drunk” may be tough to fathom. The basic concept is that a person can be sober but not actively at work on their underlying issues. That is a dry drunk. But a person in recovery that is actively working on all the issues that led them to drink is not a “dry drunk.”

This article examines the concept of a “dry drunk” and provides tips for how to avoid becoming a dry drunk after rehab. Here is why getting sober is just the first step.

Do Not Be a Dry Drunk in Washington State Alcohol Rehab

One of the things you learn first in Washington State alcohol rehab is that there are layers to your sobriety. There is the period of withdrawal and getting sober. But a deeper layer is the work you do to uncover the feelings that led you to drink in the first place. That place is recovery and it takes time, forgiveness and healing to get there. But with the right help, it can be achieved.

But some people never make it. While you may think just of the person who relapses into alcohol misuse as “not making it,” the truth is that there are some people who never touch another drop of alcohol and still fail to recover fully. These folks are dry drunks, people that may be sober but unchanging; they are not pursuing the work necessary to change their life. Recovery is a journey that teaches new behaviors and life skills that are an important component to finally healing and regaining health.

Dry drunks may be stuck in some of the same patterns that they had when they were drinking. For example:

  • They may still lash out in rage or frustration when they are stressed.
  • They may continue to exhibit bad decisions or unhealthy behaviors; they may even pick up new addictions.
  • They may feel very sorry for themselves.
  • They may live in denial that anything is wrong.
  • They may even glorify their drinking days as a “good time.”
Woman holding a card with the word alcoholism on it.

The truth is that getting sober is only the first step.

Psychology Today says that dry drunks often refuse to seek help, but points out:

“If any of us were to stop participating in something that we were used to doing for years, something that was a substantial part of our daily existence, we would need additional help emotionally and psychologically in working through that absence.”

Dry drunk syndrome is the condition of completely missing the work necessary to find happiness as a recovering alcoholic. Many times living with a dry drunk is just as difficult as when they are drinking; the only thing that has changed is that the bottle is missing, but the anger and grief are still there. That is why it is so important to consider Washington State alcohol rehab to keep moving forward toward recovery.

If you or any of your loved ones are struggling to move from being a dry drunk to a recovering alcoholic, Washington State alcohol rehab can help. Stopping drinking is just the first step and it is time to go a little further – with a little help. There is a way out of the anger and frustration you are feeling. It takes work, but the journey is always worth it.

To learn more about admissions,  contact us today!