Anger Management in Addiction Treatment
Anger management is an important element of addiction treatment for many people. The comprehensive 90-day program at Recovery in Motion focuses on everything from anger issues to teaching life skills and coping mechanisms. We strive to get to the root of each person’s anger and impart healthy coping mechanisms that are necessary for successful recovery.
Anger is a normal emotion and as with any emotion, should be felt and expressed in the right context. Unfortunately, anger can also manifest as rage, which creates problems in many areas of people’s lives. People who struggle with anger and rage can end up alienating their family and friends, ruining romantic relationships, and losing jobs. Rage can be very destructive and if not expressed healthily, can harm you and your loved ones emotionally and even physically.
If rage leads to broken relationships and then isolation, it’s not surprising that it’s followed closely by substance use and addiction. Isolation exacerbates all existing issues. People who have problems dealing with their anger healthily are at greater risk for substance abuse. Some people have more problems processing anger and rage because of mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, oppositional defiance disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. This can lead to self-medicating and substance abuse.
The reverse is also true. An addiction can exacerbate mental illness and lead people to develop anger issues and post-traumatic stress disorder. This is why anger management is an important part of a comprehensive treatment program.
Anger Management in Recovery
Since there is such a strong connection between anger issues and addiction, it makes perfect sense that anger management would be a common part of addiction treatment. In comprehensive rehabilitation and recovery like at Recovery in Motion, people struggling with co-occurring disorders involving anger or PTSD can benefit from a range of different treatment options.
Individual therapy creates a safe place between the client and therapist where the client can open up about the depths of their anger issues and triggers. Simultaneously, in group therapy, patients discuss their coping mechanisms with each other and talk about the success they’ve had in processing their anger in treatment.
Recovery and rehabilitation can sometimes trigger latent anger issues. Along with the physical withdrawal symptoms, abstaining from drugs or alcohol can cause psychological and emotional issues, including rage. By making anger management part of our treatment program, we can address this rage response before it develops into a bigger problem.
Those with anger issues must see rage as a prime trigger for relapse. Triggers are emotions, situations, or incidents that make cause a fight or flight survival response. In this state, it’s difficult to make rational decisions and many people relapse because they revert to a familiar coping mechanism. Through anger management in treatment, patients will learn what their triggers are and will learn how to address them in a healthy way that won’t lead to relapse.