Does Consuming Alcohol Lead to Verbal Abuse?

September 15, 2022 Cheryl Wozny

Facing a verbally abusive situation is emotionally and physically draining. In addition, many victims of abuse find that alcohol plays a factor in how their circumstances play out daily. As someone who lived in a relationship of verbal abuse, alcohol, and substance abuse, I found the combination of these outside elements intensified an already negative situation. 

The Correlation Between Alcohol and Abuse  

Consuming alcohol slows down the body's central nervous system, making it more challenging to control our emotions, logic and reasoning skills, and motor functions.1 For many years, when I drank alcohol, I was known as the angry drunk. Whatever was bothering me at that time was intensified, and unfortunately, that was all I could focus on in my inebriated state.  

When someone is already upset or angry, adding alcohol to the mix adds fuel to the fire. Years ago, I recalled waiting for my partner to come home, fearful of the state he might be in when he arrived. If there were no after-work beers, I could usually navigate the snide comments and insults and try to stay out of his way. However, if he had drinks with friends, he would come home a louder, more obnoxious person than usual. 

Situational Abuse with Alcohol Involved

Another time that alcohol has reared its head in my relationships is with friends and acquaintances. In many circumstances, having drinks with friends is a joyous occasion with great company and shared experiences. However, boundaries need to be apparent when you have a friend who becomes abusive only when they drink alcohol. 

Like many other victims of verbal abuse, I tried to ignore abusive behavior or shake it off because it didn't happen all the time. These hurtful words only came out when consuming drinks, so it wasn't a big deal, I would reason. However, it is not a situation you should ignore and let continue, even when coming from a close friend. 

Will Abstinence Stop Verbal Abuse? 

Unfortunately, for many abusers, refraining from drinking alcohol will not stop their abusive behaviors. Treating others with respect can take time and effort and require using a professional's tools and strategies. It is unlikely that if you remove alcohol from the equation, the abuse will stop

However, abstinence is a start to making better choices and having more control over emotions and decisions. Alternatively, a person who is not ordinarily abusive will typically not exhibit these harmful behaviors after consuming alcohol. Consequently, each individual is unique, and there is a possibility for high emotions and harsh words when this depressant enters the mix. 

If you experience verbal abuse from someone after drinking, it is time to set boundaries and make some changes. 


  1. Addiction Center. (2021, October 20). Episode 32 – Trauma And Addiction. Retrieved September 14, 2022, from

APA Reference
Wozny, C. (2022, September 15). Does Consuming Alcohol Lead to Verbal Abuse? , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Cheryl Wozny

Cheryl Wozny is a freelance writer and published author of several books, including a mental health resource for children, titled Why Is My Mommy So Sad? Writing has become her way of healing and helping others. Find Cheryl on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and on her blog

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