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The Curious Case of the Dry Drunk (or Addict)

Suffering from an addiction to alcohol and other substances creates a world of chaos for us both internally and externally. Damage in all areas of our lives piles up, one thing after the next, like dominoes.

When we acknowledge the common denominator of all these problems, our addiction, the first thing to address is to remove the alcohol or drugs. This is no simple task. Eliminating the substance that is controlling us takes a great amount of surrender and strength, and is something to celebrate.

However, after the removal of alcohol or drugs, we take no further action. We feel as though we are cured. Instead of taking the path of a 12-Step program, we move forward with our lives.

Unfortunately, we find that our problems do not cease. Peace doesn’t come to us, and we continue to struggle emotionally, mentally and spiritually. This is referred to in recovery literature as a dry drunk. 


What Are the Effects?

Removing alcohol and other substances from our lives is a very noble thing. However, for a true alcoholic or addict, this is only the first step to healing in all areas of our lives.

A dry drunk or addict may find that unhealthy behavior, problematic relationships, and negative attitudes or emotions follow them, even once they are sober. We have not truly addressed the emotional baggage that preceded their addiction or was created during their addiction.

As a result, we find that chaos still remains in their lives. This may present as emotional stress such as uncontrolled anger or sadness. Friendships, family life, and intimacy might continue to feel strained.

Negative habits that don’t involve drugs or alcohol may surface and overwhelm our lives. While we are sober, we haven’t fully recovered. We don’t feel the freedom of real recovery, we may even feel worse than during our addictions. 


The Missing Piece

The difference between sobriety and recovery lies in a 12-Step program. When we work with a sponsor and take the steps in the program we identify with, we reap the benefits and have a life we have only dreamed of in the past.

Alcohol and other drugs cause a great deal of damage for us, but until we address our internal struggles, we cannot find peace. There are spiritual, emotional, and mental obstacles that prevent us from living a tranquil life.

A 12-Step program allows us to focus on those aspects of our lives. We can find what caused our addiction to begin with and what allowed it to continue, thus facing the root of our problems.

The disease of alcoholism can lead to recovery, and the symptoms of the dry drunk can be relieved. We find the light at the end of the tunnel, and the freedom that we have longed for.

The damage can be stopped, and problems that arise in the future, internally and externally, can be handled. Life will no longer feel daunting and frustrating.

The 12-Steps are the way we remain sober as well as lead a life of recovery, a life that is worth living and is fulfilling in every way. 


If you feel as though you are sober, but not feeling at peace, the Guest House Ocala can answer any of your questions. We understand how hard it is to overcome addiction, and our programs can help you find your freedom. Our doors are open, and we have over 12 years of experience to lead you to a happy, healthy life in recovery! 

Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.