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Ways to Cope with Anger in Addiction Recovery

Anger and addiction often go together, so learning to deal with anger is an important part of the recovery journey. At Gateway Foundation, we offer both individual and group therapies as well as a range of science-based recovery and treatment options to help you manage the full spectrum of emotions you may be experiencing.

Why Are Addicts So Angry?

Anger management and substance abuse can often be cyclical. Someone may not feel confident in expressing their anger or may not have the skills to express anger in a healthy way. In some cases, he or she may turn to substances to numb or help cope with feelings of anger. Unfortunately, this is not a healthy technique and can lead to even more anger, exacerbating reliance on alcohol or drugs.

In some cases, addiction is co-occurring with another condition. Someone who is addicted may be facing trauma, a difficult family situation or suppressed memories. They might also be dealing with depression or other mental health challenges that trigger anger — the substance abuse may be how they choose to cope. When this fails to help or when the patient enters recovery, the underlying anger is still there and may emerge during the treatment process.

Anger Management in Addiction Recovery

Learning strategies for coping with anger is an important part of the recovery process, especially if you are using alcohol or drugs to try to manage anger or if your addiction is linked to this emotion in some way. Your treatment may involve:

  • Addressing underlying trauma or mental health issues
  • Learning to use deep breathing and pauses to diffuse situations which may have angered you in the past
  • Developing healthy ways of handling anger, including coping strategies such as creative expression or physical exercise
  • Creating a plan for avoiding triggers
  • Honing communication strategies to avoid escalating situations
  • Practicing relaxation and de-stressing techniques
  • Using humor and distraction to diffuse anger
  • Finding places to ask for help when anger returns
  • Practicing kind self-talk and positive speech with others
  • Connecting with spirituality or nature to help encourage overall positive mindsets
  • Learning to use art, music, journaling or other methods to express anger with a healthy outlet

Recovery From Anger and Addiction

Gateway Foundation offers a number of treatment solutions so we can create the right recovery program for you. We provide support through outpatient solutions, movement therapy, withdrawal management, medical treatment, residential treatment, partial hospitalization, psychiatric care, support groups, psychological testing, art therapy, experiential therapy and other solutions. Our alumni services provide ongoing support to help ensure you always have someone to turn to on your recovery journey.

Our goal is to help you get your life back, both from substance abuse and your anger. Our caring staff and more than 50 years of positive outcomes in the Illinois area make us confident in our science-based treatment options. To learn more about our life-saving treatments, contact Gateway Foundation or call us at 877.381.6538 and get back to your best life.

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