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Yes, alcohol can cause anger issues. Though alcohol was once prohibited in America, alcohol use has since become legal for consumption by individuals over the age of twenty-one, and further has become integral to American culture.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor. Alcohol is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches.” Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and works by slowing down vital functions in one’s body. The feelings elicited when an individual ingests alcohol occurs because of the way the substance interacts with one’s neurotransmitters. As is explained by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH), “Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works.” After an individual consumes alcohol, it is absorbed from the small intestine and stomach into his or her bloodstream and is then metabolized in the liver. The liver, however, is only able to metabolize a small amount of alcohol at a time, which leaves excess alcohol to circulate throughout one’s body via the bloodstream. The amount of alcohol consumed directly relates to its effects on one’s body.

Risk Factors

According to Verywell Mind, “There are a number of cognitive, neurobiological and social factors that can influence how alcohol affects aggression.” One study asserts that certain risk factors may increase the possibility of developing alcohol-related aggression, such as: 

    • Binge drinking
  • Being male
    • Having underlying irritability
  • Having high levels of trait anger
  • Having a sensation-seeking personality
  • Having friends or relatives who exhibit aggression under the influence of alcohol
  • Lacking empathy

Alcohol can provoke different emotional responses for different people. For example, alcohol can interfere with one’s ability to regulate impulse control, which could increase one’s inability to resist the urge to act aggressively. Experts explain that the effect of alcohol could be attributed to neuroinflammation (an inflammatory response within the brain or spinal cord), which can be exacerbated with heavy drinking and its effects on the gut (e.g., deficient levels of omega-3 fatty acids) and nutrition. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At Upwell Advisors, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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