Drinking and road rage: Are you suffering from intermittent explosive disorder?

Impaired driving, or driving while impaired (DWI), or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, drugs, or both, often leads to dire consequences and makes a person fill with remorse for life, provided he or she survives. It all starts with developing an addiction to alcohol. Chances of a road rage increases considerably if a drunk driver is involved.

According to 2013 Pennsylvania Alcohol-Related Crash Statistics, 11,041 alcohol-related crashes were recorded and 381 people were killed in drunk driving accidents. Over the years, drinking has been linked to aggression and accidents. Under the influence of alcohol, a person may go through an emotional state and starts feeling either overwhelmed or depressed. Alcohol, known to have mood altering substances, makes a person enter a state of denial which leads to an uncontrollable state of mind.

“Each day, people drive drunk almost 300,000 times, but fewer than 4,000 are arrested,” says the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s “Crime in the United States: 2013.” This accentuates the fact that the addiction is epidemic, and strong measures are required to deal with it. Bringing more complexity to the situation are the stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealing that almost 30 people in the United States die in road accidents every day that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.

Dealing with the severity of DWI

Once a person is totally dependent on alcohol, not only his physical health deteriorates but he also suffers a major mental setback. It is said that alcohol can decrease the neurotransmitter serotonin level which leads to problem in sleeping, and can increase the level of aggression and suicidal thoughts as well.

In Truckee, California, Timothy Brooks got into a rage after another car tried to cut him off on the highway. Not only he followed the car, he scolded the driver and stabbed him to death with a knife. In another incident, May Lee and her two children had to suffer the recklessness of a drunk driver Agnon who forced her to swerve to the shoulder lane only to land in a ditch. The children suffered minor injuries and both of Lee’s legs were broken.

Intermittent explosive disorder

People claiming life of others due to road rage under the influence of alcohol are known to suffer from intermittent explosive disorder (IED), according to a report published in the June 2006 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. Adding to it, the researchers revealed “this disorder may affect up to 7 percent of the population, or about 16 million Americans over their lifetimes.”

The relapsing phase

For an addict in recovery, relapse comes as a sign of strength. Even if he manages to get off this addiction, there are chances that relapse may make it more complex to deal with. An addict scores an escape goal if he is given proper treatment to achieve sobriety otherwise it might make him step back and he again falls into the trap of alcohol addiction. He might go through a phase that is difficult to adapt to. Giving up too easily or feeling troubled in craving can be the signs that addiction and aggression are still deep seated on his mind.

Even if a person is committed to wipe the slate clean, he might lose way in between due to loss of interest in the recovery program or gets irritated easily that can be one of the withdrawal symptoms. Besides, if an addict is forced or he hangs around by choice with old drinking buddies, the habit may return.

Road to recovery

It’s a complex road to walk if addiction is mixed with anger and aggression. One tends to go through an ordeal that may try out his willpower and patience to become sober. Since an addict needs to tackle both rage and addiction, a combination of medications and therapy might work wonders.

If you know someone who is an addict and displays signs of aggression, help is available. You can visit the Florida Alcohol Addiction Helpline or call 866-220-5381 at any time. Our treatment specialists are available to help you out with the necessary information you require.

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