There is a long-recognized association between alcohol consumption and aggressive behavior. But does aggression and hostility continue into sobriety?

This study was designed to examine aggression in a group of socially well-adapted recovered alcoholics.

The question addressed was whether the treatment, together with long-term abstinence from alcohol, could reduce aggression and hostility in recovered alcoholics.

Sixty four male stable alcoholics with at least 3 years sobriety were compared with 69 non-alcoholics. Neither group had any other psychological problems.

Both groups were given a questionnaire on general characteristics as well as aggressive and hostility traits.

After a 3-year abstinence, men from the recovering alcoholics group displayed greater signs of hostility and covert aggression. They were different from non-alcoholics on measures for indirect aggression, irritability, negativism, suspicion, resentment, and guilt.

Research report; Ziherl S, Cebasek Travnik Z, Kores Plesnicar B, Tomori M, Zalar B. Trait aggression and hostility in recovered alcoholics. Eur Addict Res 2007; 13(2): 89-93.