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What is a “Dry” Alcoholic or a “Dry” Drunk?

A “dry” alcoholic refers to an alcoholic in recovery who is abstinent, but does not adhere to any program of recovery. Basically, a “dry” alcoholic or “dry” drunk is someone in recovery who just does not drink, but has made no other changes to themselves— including their thought patterns, behaviors, and/or relationship to their spirituality.

If you are being treated for alcohol addiction or alcohol use disorder, Royal Life Centers at The Haven will work with you to develop a treatment plan. Our guests are given tools to build programs of recovery that involve healthy habits and behaviors that they choose to practice long after they complete our programs. Royal Life Centers at The Haven offers comprehensive addiction recovery, with programs that are designed to follow guests through the recovery process.

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism is unfortunately very common. The signs of alcoholism include the following:

  • drinking more, or for longer than you intended
  • have tried to cut down, or stop drinking (more than once) but could not
  • spent a lot of time drinking, being sick from drinking, or being hungover?
  • experienced craving—a strong need or urge to drink?
  • drinking or being hungover from drinking often interferes with taking care of your home or family, causes job troubles or school problems
  • continuing to drink despite it causing trouble with your family or friends
  • stopped participating or cut back participation in activities that were important or interesting to you, in order to drink
  • more than once, got into situations while or after drinking, that increased your chances of getting hurt
  • continuing to drink even though it made you feel depressed or anxious or causing a health problem? or after having had a memory blackout
  • had to drink much more than you once did, to achieve the same effect. or realizing your usual number of drinks had much less of an effect than before?
  • found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, you had symptoms of withdrawal. (trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, sweating, etc.)

(The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimated that 16 million people suffer from alcohol use disorder in the United States alone.

Alcoholism Treatment

Alcoholism is a complex condition, and is best treated with a comprehensive addiction treatment program- like the programs we offer at Royal Life Centers. Alcohol addiction or heavy drinking habits need to first be addressed by attending our medical detox at Royal Life Centers at The Haven. At our medical detox center, you will be evaluated upon arrival, for your withdrawal symptoms and any co-occuring disorders. When you drink alcohol, your immune system suffers and makes you more susceptible to getting sick. When you have been heavily drinking over a period of time, you increase the risk of many health problems. A physical dependence will cause withdrawal symptoms of alcohol to appear roughly about eight hours after your last drink. At Royal Life Centers at The Haven, we address all of the problems that are caused by alcohol, as well as providing intensive therapy to uncover the root problem with alcohol use disorder. We use therapy to address the root cause of alcohol use disorder and for our guests to work through their alcohol use disorder as they begin to recover.


Recovering from alcoholism requires a strong program of recovery, such as the 12-step program of recovery called Alcoholics Anonymous. The term dry drunk refers to a recovering alcoholic, who is only remaining abstinent from alcohol but is not trying to make any changes to better himself or herself.

Recovery is a process that requires self-discovery, self-awareness, reflection, and learning a new way to live. A program of recovery should include healthy habits, a strong support network, plans to attend things like support groups or continued therapy. You can find guidance for how to create a program of recovery by meeting with your appointed case manager at Royal Life Centers at The Haven.

Why Medical Detox?

Royal Life Centers at The Haven provides a full medical detoxification for our guests. It is crucial to undergo a detox with professional help, as the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening. With symptoms ranging from nausea, to delirium tremens, it is important to have medical professionals available at all points during detoxification. Royal Life Centers at The Haven provides 24/7 supervision from medical professionals, to ensure our guests safety and comfort. Mental health is also a concern during the detoxification process, as withdrawal can also produce a negative effect on your mental health. Royal Life Centers at The Haven uses medication-assisted treatment to address both mental health and physical health concerns. Medication-assisted treatment is the use of medication alongside behavioral therapies for optimal health.

Program of Recovery

At Royal Life Centers, we believe in the effectiveness of building a program of recovery. Our case managers work with guests individually, to tailor a plan that suits that guest’s needs and goals. A program of recovery is vital for lasting sobriety. Just removing alcohol from your life does not represent a person who would like to live a life of bettering themselves. Alcoholism disrupts every aspect of life, so bettering yourself involves much more than just not drinking. Royal Life Centers teaches how to make positive behavioral changes and supports self-discovery and reflection.

We have a holistic approach to addiction treatment, treating the mind, body, and spirit. If your only goal is not to pick up a drink, you need to be addressing your maladaptive thought patterns, behaviors, and building a connection to a power greater than yourself. Through intensive therapies and education about healthy habit making, our guests are given the tools to rebuild their lives for a happy, healthy, and successful life in sobriety. Don’t just be a “dry” drunk, be a recovering drunk- someone who is actively making changes to better himself or herself.

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol use disorder, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (877)-RECOVERY or (877)-732-6837. Our team of addiction specialists are available to speak with you 24/7 to help guide you or answer any questions. Because We Care.

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