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The Angry Drunk: How Alcohol and Aggression Are Linked

Finally, risk factors for suicide among older adults are well researched and generally considered complex due to the multiplicative effects of physical and mental disabilities that are increasingly common in late life. From adolescence to adulthood, aggressive behavior may escalate into more serious and violent acts, such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, and homicide. Young adults (ages 18–24 years) are reported to have the highest homicide rate (U.S. Department of Justice, 2007). In 2009, the number of violent crime cases was 1,251,617, down 5.4% from 2008 and the number of homicides decreased 7.1% over the same time period to 14,558 (U.S. Department of Justice, 2009). Although this recent trend is encouraging, aggressive behavior and violence are still serious issues for adults.

in which stage of intoxication does an individual become aggressive

Social learning, e.g. experiences with friends or relatives who exhibit aggressive behavior under the influence of alcohol, plays a key role in the onset of alcohol-related aggression. Alcohol-related aggression and violence are a widespread cause of personal suffering with high socioeconomic costs. In 2011, nearly one in three violent acts in Germany was committed under the influence of alcohol (31.8%).

Stage 7: Death

Emotional states such as anger, frustration, and hostility are said to lead an individual to perform expressive murders. In this context, alcohol is said to be the credible factor leading to emotional loss and instability and eventually leading to expressive-based murders. A national study of 16,698 inmates found that alcohol had a stronger role in violent offending such as homicide, physical assaults, and sexual assaults compared to offenses such as burglary and robbery.

  • In the emergency room, a doctor will check their BAC and look for other signs of alcohol poisoning, such as a slow heart rate and low blood sugar and electrolyte levels.
  • Some factors that may play a role include situational/environmental conditions (traffic, congestion, etc.), personality factors, or demographic variables (Sharkin, 2004).
  • Although both genders can commit spousal abuse, men are responsible for a majority of incidents.
  • Many people enjoy alcoholic drinks as a way of relaxing, sometimes to reduce the tension of socializing or to quiet an overactive mind.

Before children develop verbal skills, aggressive behavior is manifested physically. Later on, verbal skills can be used for aggressive purposes, but also to diffuse aggressive behavior by communicating needs that could not be expressed physically (Ferris & Grisso, 1996). Toddlers display aggressive behavior by crying, screaming, biting, kicking, throwing, and breaking objects (Achenbach, 1994; Raine, Reynolds, Venebles, Mednick, & Farrington, 1998). Anger outbursts typically peak at 18 to 24 months and slowly decrease by age 5. It was found that the majority of children first reached the onset of aggressive behavior before age 2, at around 17 months of age (Hay, Castle, & Davies, 2000; Keenan & Wakschlag, 2000; Tremblay et al. 1996).

Epidemiology of alcohol-related violence

Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is the intoxicating substance in wine, beer, and liquor. Ethanol is responsible for intoxication because it has a depressive impact on parts of the brain. As more alcohol is ingested, the ethanol takes greater effect, causing impairments in progressive order.

  • Alcohol is linked with violence including intimate partner violence (Bye, 2007; Lipsky, Caetano, Field, & Larkin, 2005).
  • Research has shown that thought suppression may contribute to alcohol-related aggression.
  • As intoxication becomes severe, all of these symptoms heighten, and a person experiencing them may vomit, black out (lose their memories of the evening), and eventually lose consciousness.
  • For example, massage therapy helped decrease aggressive behavior in preschool children (von Knorring, Soderberg, Austin, & Uvnas-Moberg, 2008).

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