Dry Drunk Syndrome

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Effectively overcoming an addiction to alcohol is no easy task. It is absolutely something worth celebrating, as it takes a serious amount of perseverance and willpower to do so. That being said, just because you are no longer drinking, this won’t magically erase the negative feelings experienced before, during, or after alcoholic binges. In reality, once you stop drinking, there is an entirely different ballgame to handle, and this is one that many people don’t consider until it is happening. Legacy Healing Center Pompano is explaining dry drunk syndrome and what this phrase actually means.


What Is a Dry Drunk?

According to author R.J. Solberg, the term dry drunk refers to “the presence of actions and attitudes that characterized the alcoholic prior to recovery.”1 Essentially, it is a person that continues to suffer from unhealthy behaviors reminiscent of the time they were drinking, which only happens after they have achieved sobriety. It makes maintaining recovery that much harder because it highlights the fact that there is still ample work to be done. Someone suffering from this condition likely attempted to stop drinking on their own without the intervention of trained psychological professionals.

While this is an admirable accomplishment, many of these individuals likely have not addressed the deep emotional baggage that led them to abuse alcohol in the first place. These unhealthy mindsets and thought patterns can continue to strain relationships while holding people back from reaching their full potential. Being able to identify the signs can help dry drunks determine whether additional support is necessary.


Dry Drunk Symptoms

While each individual is different, with unique experiences and perspectives, there are still certain signs which can signal that a person is struggling with this condition. 

Symptoms of a dry drunk can include:

  • Intense mood swings, ranging from euphoria to depression
  • Difficulty communicating effectively with others
  • Finding sobriety to be boring and pointless
  • The romanticization of prior alcohol abuse
  • Resentment towards those that lead you to stop drinking
  • Difficulty acknowledging the real problems caused by alcohol
  • Regularly playing the victim role
  • Fear that nothing will ever truly change
  • Resistance to constructive criticism
  • Consistent selfishness
  • Jealousy of those not in recovery
  • A constant fear of relapse

What is important to remember is that recovery from dry drunk syndrome is possible. The work doesn’t end when you leave a rehab facility or support group. True recovery involves consistent work on oneself, the relationships with loved ones, as well as those with the outside world. Obtaining the necessary treatment can make a substantial difference, and the professionals at Legacy can help you with just that.


Get the Care You Deserve at Our Pompano Rehab

The Legacy Healing holistic recovery center is a place where patients have the opportunity to confront their struggles with the help of clinically acclaimed professionals. We offer sensational options for alcohol treatment, along with effective aftercare programs that provide continual support to alumni. These programs ensure that even upon completion of care, every former participant will have the opportunity to continue managing triggers, avoid relapse, and ensure consistent success.


If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to alcohol or other substances, call our South Florida rehab at 954-388-8029 for more information on available treatment options.



  1. R. J. Solberg – The Dry Drunk Syndrome


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