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Handling Anger and Drug Addiction

You’re going through a difficult time in your life struggling with drug addiction, and maybe you really don’t like that part of yourself. You also feel a lot of anger, which probably means you don’t like some of the people in your life. Guess what? It’s normal! It’s okay to get angry. The only time it becomes dangerous is when you find you can no longer keep it under control.

Drug Addiction and Anger Go Hand-in-Hand
  • Some people develop a drug addiction because they have been dealing with life’s hard knocks,and they use drugs to help them get through the rough spots.
  • A high percentage of people with addiction issues have suffered some kind of abuse at the hands of someone else. Sometimes there has been a history of sexual abuse or physical abuse, and verbal abuse can be just as devastating. There may be some post-traumatic stress that resulted from abuse, from fighting in a war, or from being the victim of a crime.
  • People often report specific short-term situations that have arisen, such as the death of a loved one, the loss of financial security or a ruined career path, or an illness. They respond to these situations by drinking or taking drugs, never intending for a drug habit to develop.

With all the many justifications for anger that you may have in your life, the connection between anger and drug addiction is limited to two paths: Your anger may lead to addiction, or your addiction may result in anger. Anger and drug addiction can become an unending circle: For example, anger causes drug use, which then makes you angry, which leads to more drug use. No matter where you jump onto this merry-go-round, it’s a real nightmare and jumping off is not as easy.

Anger Is Okay

Once you admit your anger and analyze it, you will realize that just about anybody would be angry in your circumstances. But you have to realize two things:

  • You cannot deal with your anger by acting out physically. Anger becomes dangerous when you lose control. You cannot hit, punch, or kick people or things. Getting revenge on people is likewise not acceptable. Shouting might be understandable if you’ve suffered from certain experiences, but it doesn’t solve anything.
  • You must participate in counseling to get your anger under control. Your substance abuse
    counselor will provide individual counseling sessions, and there may be group sessions available at the methadone treatment program you attend. By attending 12-step meetings, you will hear other people’s stories and you will learn that you are not alone.

You cannot begin to heal from issues surrounding your drug addiction until you share your worst secrets with your counselor and learn to forgive yourself and others. When you are in recovery, you will learn effective anger management strategies—counting to ten really can be helpful and practicing deep breathing teaches you to relax, and there are others.

Remember that it’s okay to be angry as long as you control it. Learning how to heal relationships is part of recovery. When you can’t forget what you’ve suffered because of somebody else, you can at least learn how to move on from it.

There will be situations when you will admit that no person is totally right or totally wrong, and you can practice communication skills so that your emotions remain calm and under your control. You will learn to avoid the situations that bring your anger to the surface. And remind yourself, as you work on your recovery, that anger can even jumpstart new initiatives in your life, and lead you to new ways of doing things

And that’s what recovery is all about. 866.840.6658

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