What does this mean DRY DRUNK

Was talking to 2 friends oh are sober 1 friend called the other friend a DRY DRUNK! I said what is that he said you’ll learn in time! Any information on this?

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Here’s a pretty good explanation :wink::heart::grin:


It’s when you stop drinking but don’t change your behaviors. I hear it a lot at AA meetings.


Honestly I think the first year, is just dry in general. You have some good days and Def alot of shitty days. You experience a pink cloud in the first couple of months, then you almost get a high off your milestones. But we have ingrained habits, if we don’t change them or some of the stuff we do we will become dry and miserable and just always wishing we could have that first drink. Accepting we are alcoholics, can’t drink, finding other sober ppl, exercise, trust the process, work the steps if u want don’t have to but it helps. And just get out and find who you are all sure ways to help not be so dry lol


It’s an AA term. It means your sober without a programme. They generally use it as you will definitely be drunk again or be irritable restless and discontent.

First explanation I heard was that it’s somebody who tries to remain sober based on willpower and white knuckling only. Without looking for the underlying causes and doing something about them. In the end it’s bound to fail or make one miserable for the rest of their life.


Just to be clear, you don’t need to be in a program to maintain sobriety. I’m over six years sober now and I’m not in AA or any other program. I’m not a “dry drunk.” I’m not miserable or resentful or white knuckling. I’m not sweating out a desire to drink.

I get nervous when people tell others they will fail at sobriety if they don’t do a specific program or address sobriety the same way someone else did.

As some others have pointed out on this thread, for me the key to overcoming my drinking was dealing with some of my underlying issues and examining and changing my behaviors.

I think AA and other programs are good at formally and systematically addressing the causes of addiction and helping people develop healthy and effective coping methods as well as providing a socialization aspect that’s powerful and supportive. I think it’s great if a program helps someone obtain and maintain sobriety but I don’t think it’s helpful or accurate to tell people they will fail if they’re not in one.


A History of the ‘Dry Drunk’

The term dry drunk syndrome was originally coined by the creators of the 12-Step program, Alcoholics Anonymous. Author R.J. Solberg defined the term in his 1970 book, The Dry Drunk Syndrome , as “the presence of actions and attitudes that characterized the alcoholic prior to recovery.”

Someone struggling with dry drunk syndrome may still maintain strained relationships with their loved ones. They may still suffer from unhealthy habits, both internally and externally. In short, while they may have quit drinking, the individual has yet to deal with the emotional baggage that led them to alcohol in the first place. Dry drunk syndrome is more common among individuals who quit their addiction on their own, as they do not have a professional support team to guide them through this difficult change in their life. Those who undergo professional treatment for alcohol abuse and addiction are less likely to develop the issue.

While the phrase dry drunk has been used with derision by some members of the 12-Step community, it is important to recognize that dry drunk syndrome is a legitimate psychological phenomenon that can happen to anyone who is struggling with an addiction. It is not a result of “not working the program,” nor is it a sign of some innate failing within the individual.

Dry drunk syndrome can be overcome; it simply requires a willingness to uncover the root of one’s addiction.

Signs and Symptoms

There are a few telltale signs that indicate a person is struggling with dry drunk syndrome. Psychology Today outlines these signs as:

  • Resentment toward friends or family
  • Anger and negativity surrounding recovery
  • Depression, anxiety, and fear of relapse
  • Jealousy of friends who are not struggling with addiction
  • Romanticizing their drinking days
  • Being self-obsessed
  • Replacing the addiction with a new vice (e.g., sex, food, and internet use)

Dry drunk syndrome operates almost exclusively within a person’s mind. In fact, psychologists since 1955 have maintained that working on one’s “inner life” is the key to overcoming the dry drunk mentality. Through comprehensive treatment that includes therapy as well as recovery programs like 12-Step groups, a person can discover what led them to drugs or alcohol at the start.


I agree totally, and felt the same when reading.
Dry drunk to me just means you’re still fixing yourself on another addiction,
And yeah another like white knuckling, like seeing how many days you can ‘withstand’ being sober.

Oooh, for a few seconds I felt like I was in rehab again!..jeez I hated looking at all of that stuff 20 years ago!.:grimacing::grimacing::grimacing::wink::wink::wink:.
My support network is TS :+1::pray::boom:
And the earth that holds me up and the gravity that holds me down :v::blue_heart:


I went to rehab. Didn’t hate it at all. Got some really life changing information in there.
I work the steps.

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I was young and had no other choice as my family wanted me safe.:pray:… meaning it wasn’t my choice to get better.,I didn’t want to get better back then so I had a wall round me,through primary treatment and secondary treatment.

Used to go to a meeting and one of the guys after the meeting used to sell cigs from the back of his car ask him were he got them fell of the back of a lorry as he touched his nose , not willing to change still have old habit ,

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I agree bc the longest I’ve ever been sober was 18 months and that was with no help no god no meetings and I was very happy, the only thing I didn’t know was that I could never drink again and had a glass of wine at Xmas. It has been all down hill after that and now need all the help I can get. If we’re happy we’re happy and if we’re not then we need to be willing to adapt and change.


Boom :boom:

I’m learning so much from everybody thanks everyone!giphy_GWbgn9RqVfk1bHQBr1_fixed_width001 9

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I’ve been sober from alcohol for over one year, I heavily abused but found I wasn’t an addict so to speak. I don’t have a sponsor. I don’t do meetings. I found the internal power and strong mindset to reprogram my life, habits, hobbies and activities to avoid or deal with drivers and drivers that cause my alcohol abuse. Nobody can help you but you. Music, art, excel use, PMA, this all helped me.