Why Does Alcohol Make People Angry?

Legacy Healing Center Blog

You may have seen someone who was drunk become extremely angry — shouting, throwing things, and acting out. Perhaps you have a loved one who becomes unreasonable in their anger when they have been drinking. That person may even be you as you try to understand the relationship between drinking alcohol and anger and aggression. You may want to know, “Why does alcohol make you angry?”

The Connection Between Alcohol and Anger

Drinking alcohol causes the prefrontal cortex part of the brain to be inhibited. This area of the brain is responsible for solving problems, managing emotions, and making sound judgments. When it’s inhibited, feelings will dominate rational thought.

Alcohol and anger work in the same way as sleep deprivation, stress, and even some drugs in how it can make people more emotional. For some people, this may mean they are happier and act silly when drinking while others get angry more easily. Studies indicate that alcohol is linked more closely with aggression than any other substance¹.

Why Does Alcohol Make You Angry?

Alcohol can provide a distraction from various negative emotions, including anger. The anger becomes displaced, directed toward someone who isn’t the original target. The new target may be seen as less threatening than the person they are furious with.

Studies show that displays of anger are seen more often in men than in women and in people who already tend toward anger. Research also indicates that people who become angry after drinking cannot identify facial expressions correctly. In other words, they may see hostility where none exists.

Another issue with alcohol consumption and anger is that the person is less likely to consider the consequences of their actions¹. They may get in a fight and not think about going to jail or losing a friendship.

Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse can affect the brain and the body. Drinking too much causes interference in the communication pathways of the brain. It affects the way the brain is able to function, changing the person’s moods and behaviors. It prevents them from being able to think clearly. Some of these changes to the brain may be permanent, including memory loss.

Alcohol also impacts the health of your body. It can cause problems with the heart, leading to high blood pressure and stroke. Heavy drinking will also have an impact on the liver, leading to fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver. It can cause problems with the pancreas and even increase the risk of developing several types of cancer. Too much alcohol can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to diseases².

Treatments for Alcohol Abuse

While alcohol abuse can have severe consequences and lead to long-term damage and even death, some of the effects can be reversed when you stop drinking. If you have been abusing alcohol and want to stop, be assured that treatment exists. Legacy Healing Centers is a state-of-the-art alcohol treatment facility that can help you begin your path to recovery.

The first step in recovering from alcohol addiction is detoxing and getting it out of your system. Our treatment specialists will help you through this phase, using medications to assist with withdrawal symptoms. It’s important that you don’t try to detox on your own because some of the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol abuse can be dangerous and even fatal.

Our treatment specialists will evaluate you and determine a treatment plan to help you overcome your addiction. We offer a partial hospitalization program and inpatient treatment to provide the support you need. Your plan will include individual and group therapy as well as various other treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy treatment.

Once you have graduated from this program, you can move on to our outpatient addiction treatment program. We also offer aftercare and 12-step meetings to help you continue to receive the support you need and avoid relapse. Our team is here to help you be successful and learn how to regain control of your emotions and feelings instead of turning to alcohol.

How to Find Help

If you are tired of angry outbursts and hurting others from your drinking, know that we are here for you. Legacy Healing Centers will help you make a new start. Contact us today at 888-534-2295 to find out how to get help for alcohol abuse and to determine your next step.


  1. Psychology Today (October 2021) How Does Alcohol Use Interact with Anger?
  2. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (October 2021) Alcohol’s Effects on the Body.