At Everlast Recovery Centers, we recognize that everyone experiences anger, but anger becomes a barrier to recovery for people with substance use disorders. Anger hinders our ability to deal with the world and make good decisions, making it necessary for those beginning their new life in sobriety to find the tools to manage this overwhelming feeling.
Everlast Recovery Center uses various methods for anger management in recovery to help our clients have the best recovery success. Each person may find a different approach that works best for them, and we encourage people to find the anger management tools they feel confident with using.
What is Anger Management?
Rather than being a specific type of therapy, anger management is a tool that is learned in various aspects of our treatment program. Conflict mediation, family therapy, parenting classes, and behavioral therapies, will teach our clients anger management techniques.
Anger management does not mean you will come to a place where you never feel angry again. People who have good anger management skills still have moments when they get mad. However, instead of making bad decisions based on anger, they use tools they have learned to keep the anger from derailing them. At Everlast Recovery Centers, a significant part of our anger management program includes Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). While all types of therapy can teach anger management tools, the general concepts from REBT apply to many anger management programs:
Consequences of Anger
Anger can also cause a lot of harm in people’s lives. Some consequences cause more immediate problems than others, while some cause long-term harm to your body, your relationships with others, and your emotional well-being. Anger can also lead to potentially harming others. Sometimes this harm is psychological, but when people have serious problems managing their anger, they may inflict physical injury. People may even get into arguments or physical fights with strangers, friends, domestic partners, or children.
If anger causes so much harm, why do people get so angry?
Anger can be a response to not getting something we want or need, feeling taken advantage of or cheated, things not going the way we expected, or things going wrong. Sometimes, we respond with anger simply because we feel overwhelmed.
One of the worst problems with anger is that it feeds itself. We become angry because something did not go the way we wanted, expected, or thought it should go. In our minds, anger creates secondary thoughts that make the situation worse.
Some thoughts that people may experience when angry include:
When we begin to experience secondary thoughts, they can include:
Anger can even feel like a good thing when you feel righteous, empowered, and strong in your convictions. However, when the good feelings wear off, the ugly results of anger have not gone away.
Anger Management and Addiction
Addiction and anger form a vicious circle that feeds both problems. Anyone familiar with anger knows how it can occupy the mind, hijack our rational thinking, and generally make us feel tense, hostile, or isolated. By dealing with anger in an unhealthy way that worsens the feelings, people with substance use disorders keep themselves locked in the cycle.
For someone who struggles with a substance use disorder, these feelings often drive people to use drugs to mask their feelings and cope with anger and other overwhelming emotions.
Under the influence, some of those negative feelings will disappear for a while and lower inhibitions. When this happens, people are more likely to engage in risky behaviors. Unfortunately, these feelings will most likely return. When the drug or substance wears off, you most likely will find yourself with all the same anger and whatever other strong emotions that you were trying to mask.
Anger Management in Residential Treatment
People in early recovery may struggle with a wide range of emotions. They may have been abusing drugs as a coping mechanism for so long that they do not know how to handle their emotions otherwise, and these raw feelings may push people to think about using drugs or alcohol again as a way to cope. At Everlast Recovery Centers, our goal is to give you the tools to push manage your anger without relapsing.
Anger management skills play a critical part in the drug and alcohol treatment program at Everlast.
Whether anger is managed through REBT or other methods, such as CBT, Everlast makes it a priority to equip people with the tools needed to keep anger from derailing their recovery.