Alcohol and Violent Behavior: Why Some People are More Suseptible

man with bottle of alcohol threatening a woman and baby

Alcohol and violent behavior seem to go hand-in-hand.  We see it movies or TV programs often.  A drunk guy in a bar starts a fight and before it’s over, the bar is in shambles, and several people have injuries ranging from mild to severe.  The police show up, and some people are taken to jail.  But, by the next weekend, they are out of jail and at it again.  Likewise, alcohol is usually part of the scenario in domestic violence cases and child abuse cases.  So, why can some people drink alcohol and have a good time while others resort to abusive and destructive behaviors when drinking?

Does Alcohol Cause a Person to Become Violent?

Needless to say, alcohol affects brain functioning.  It makes it harder for a person to control their reactions to situations.  For instance, if a drunk person thinks he or she has been insulted or slighted, they usually give in to the base impulse to take action.  Of course, each individual’s brain is affected differently by alcohol.  Not everyone becomes a raging bully when they have a few drinks.  Fortunately, most people can consume inebriating substances and still maintain some self-control.

In most cases of violent behavior by a drinking person, this person would have acted poorly in the situation even without alcohol in their system.  Some people are naturally aggressive, and alcohol tends to fuel the bad behavior.

Young adults and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol because their brains are not entirely developed.  Studies have proven that the prefrontal lobe is the last part of the brain to develop fully.  The prefrontal region is responsible for what is known as executive control.  Executive control is described as the brain’s ability to reign in the urge to act on impulse.  For instance, decision-making, reasoning, and problem-solving are controlled by the executive system of the brain.  It helps guide you into making better choices for the long-term.  Because of its effects on this area of the brain, young people under the age of 20 are more likely to act aggressively or violently when alcohol is consumed in large quantities.

Unfortunately, the adverse effects on the brain are cumulative, meaning they get worse over time, and can remain for up to a year after the person quits drinking.

Finding Help for Alcoholism

Treatment for alcoholism begins with detoxification and continues with a rehabilitation program lasting from 30 to 90 days, or more.  Detox addresses the physical aspect of alcoholism.  The detox process helps a person’s body eliminate all traces of the substance.  In this way, cravings are minimized, and the person can focus on the rehab portion of treatment.

If you have a loved one who is struggling with alcohol and violent behavior, call our toll free number today.  Your best option for stopping the addiction is to convince your loved one to enter an inpatient treatment facility.  In an inpatient setting, the person you love will enjoy a secure, comfortable environment with 24/7 access to compassionate staff and counselors.  Each aspect of the program is in place to help a recovering alcoholic learn how to recognize and cope with triggers and how to function in daily life as a sober person.




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