There is a strong connection between addiction and anger. Your teen may get angry when you confront them about their addiction. They may get angry at themselves for not being able to stop their substance abuse on their own. And in some cases, anger and addiction can create a dangerous cycle as your teen turns to drugs or alcohol to help them deal with their feelings of anger.
Whatever the root cause of your teen’s anger management issues, it is important to recognize that this is a co-occurring mental health disorder that must be treated simultaneously with their addiction. Their anger issues won’t go away just because they stop using drugs and alcohol – and their anger may even contribute to relapse if left untreated.
As a parent, it may be difficult to determine whether your son or daughter has serious anger management issues. After all, it’s not unusual for a teenager to occasionally express their emotions by slamming a door or raising their voice. But teens who regularly lose their temper, especially over seemingly minor things, may have anger management issues that could contribute to substance abuse. If they dwell on past incidents, such as being teased or embarrassed, and continue to get angry well after the fact, that is another indication that they may need your help.
Other signs that your teen may have anger issues include:
Anger issues are often deep-rooted. Children who grow up in a hostile, aggressive home environment are more likely to have tendencies of anger and violence. According to a recent study, children who witness angry behavior between their parents are likely to experience substance abuse and other problems, including rebellious behavior, academic struggles, anxiety, and depression. They may have low self-esteem and behave awkwardly in social situations.
At Safe Landing, as part of a teen substance abuse treatment program, we help your son or daughter learn to recognize their triggers – the source of their anger – and develop more productive ways of responding to the situations that make them angry. We teach them relaxation techniques and coping skills that help them deal with those triggers without getting angry.