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A multitude of programs and treatments exist, tailored to individual needs, ensuring that every person can find an approach that resonates best with their unique situation. Consult with a healthcare professional about a personalized treatment plan. Many of the original Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) members followed the 12 Steps to alleviate dry drunk syndrome. As the earlier members found relief through surrender and commitment to abstinence, so can you. Many rehabs and outpatient programs use the 12 Steps in treatment.

  1. Dry drunk syndrome is part of the phenomenon known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).
  2. Recovering from alcohol use disorder can be a long, tough process.
  3. Engaging in individual therapy sessions with trained professionals can help address the deep-seated emotional and psychological triggers that often accompany dry drunk syndrome.

He reminisces about being back in college and drinking with his buddies, but he’s simultaneously jealous of people who have successfully undergone rehab. Drinking close to a half-dozen beers a day took a toll on his work. Although he managed to get his diploma, after graduation, he found it hard to get and keep a job.

How ‘Dry Drunk Syndrome’ Affects Recovery

PAWS symptoms are reasonably common among people recovering from AUD. If a person has concerns about their PAWS symptoms, they can try using various methods to manage them. They can also speak with a healthcare professional, join a support the five rules of recovery group, or both. They used the term to refer to people who no longer drink alcohol but experience the same issues or behaviors as when they did. No one expects you to recover from an alcohol use disorder alone—nor should you.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

A person can also find more information about local treatment centers by using sites such as If a person does relapse, they should remember that relapse can be a normal part of recovery. A person in recovery should also try to focus on the progress that they have made so far. Relapse is something to regard as a temporary setback rather than a failure. However, having symptoms of PAWS, which can last for up to 2 years following alcohol withdrawal, can put a person at higher risk of relapsing. The symptoms of PAWS can come and go, which may cause a person to believe that they are not making progress.

It may mean participating in family or couples therapy, as well as joining recovery and self-help groups for family members of the dry drunk. Without some ongoing guidance and support, the dry drunk will continue their same dry alcoholic behavior. It can be frustrating to watch the constant negative consequences resulting from the dry drunk syndrome, and it seems heartless to not want to take over and make things better.

Someone Who Never Went to Treatment

Solberg stated that the syndrome was someone who had the behaviors, attitude, and actions of an alcoholic prior to sobriety. When the word drunk is used to describe a person, it’s usually a derogatory term. Most people trying to recover from alcoholism are ashamed of what they do when they are drunk.

A person with AUD is unable to stop drinking alcohol, despite the effects it has on their life. Now that you’re no longer drinking, you have a chance to embrace your sober life and redefine your passions. Now is the time to pursue those things you’ve always wanted to learn.

Excessively using nicotine or caffeine may seem better than using alcohol, but the underlying cause of addiction remains unaddressed. Feeling confused, disoriented, or distracted can make it hard to concentrate. Dry drunk syndrome can cause those feelings, affecting your work, school, and daily interpersonal life. You might also feel out of control since you can’t use your old coping tool anymore. Or, your mood could turn aggressive, and you may snap at your friends and family.