DRY DRUNK

Definition of Dry drunk: slang known in the sober community for a person who no longer drinks, but continues to behave in dysfunctional ways.
Synonyms of Dry drunk: dry, intoxicated, smashed, etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.
Love in fellowship.

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If we dwell on the past or the future, we put ourselves back into the torture chamber. We stop changing. Boredom, pain, and futility take over again. We have been … We will be … We no longer are. The 24-hour program disappears.

Anxiety, anger, and a desire for revenge replace spiritual experience. Awareness and surrender cease. We are on a dry drunk. –Grapevine: September, 1974 | More…

If we lack emotional sobriety, we are likely to end up in “dry drunks”. This means we lose emotional control under pressure or when threatened.

Emotional sensitivity may even be part of our alcoholism. Most important, we must ensure that emotional binges do not become binges involving real booze. –Walk in Dry Places/Mel B. | More…

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Dry Drunk Syndrome Symptoms are….
Self-pity.
Denial. (Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying)
Over-confidence.
Dissatisfaction with life in recovery.
Romancing drink.
Irritation.
Loneliness
Misery.

The reason why people become dry drunks is that they get stuck in recovery. There is usually plenty of evidence when an individual is abstinent rather than sober. The most common symptoms of dry drunk syndrome include:

Self-pity is a common feeling for those who are in the midst of a dry drunk. There is a famous saying in AA, poor me, poor me, pour me a drink.

Denial (Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying) is a problem for people who are stuck in recovery. It is this refusal to acknowledge the problem that means that they can’t get unstuck.

Over-confidence means that the individual refuses to accept that they might need the help of anybody else.

The individual is likely to turn to unhealthy behaviors in an attempt to escape their dissatisfaction with life in recovery. This could mean abusing other substances or behavior.

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It is common for the dry drunk to romance the drink. They can only remember the good times with alcohol and this makes them bitter about not being able to enjoy it anymore.

The dry drunk tends to have a low tolerance for stress and hardship in life. They can easily become upset and irritated over the slightest thing. This makes them difficult to be around.

The person who is stuck in recovery will stop making an effort to build a life free of alcohol. They will often suffer from loneliness and feel depressed about their situation.
It is like they have decided to wallow in their own misery. –Dara/Abstinence Vs Sobriety | More…

Drunkenness Quotes
You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping. You can understand the nature of drunkenness when you are sober not when you are drunk –CS Lewis | More…

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