Have you looked around lately and noticed just how many angry people we encounter each day, every day? I find myself asking, “Where did all this anger come from?”People are angry with co-workers, bosses, significant others, friends, neighbors, fellow drivers, the waiter, the doorman, the person behind the counter, customer service and even. . .  pets. Unfortunately, anger is one of those intense and frequently scary emotions. Although it certainly has its place among all the others, when experienced by or directed at us, we oftentimes want to run away from it. For those individuals who have experienced intense anger, there are times when no amount of validating verbiage or soothing speech will assuage or mollify that level of intensity. Impulsive and ineffective behaviors resulting in ‘that thing we do’ often originate from intense emotion including anger.  The question asked then is:  how is anger allayed and how is rage resolved?Individuals with whom I’ve worked, who were not using DBT skills, have rarely (if ever) been able to recall using effective means in which to manage their anger. Subsequently, there are many who turned to alternative methods in an attempt to control and cool their anger. These methods mentioned are, of course, drugs and alcohol.  However quick these substances are in quelling high-intensity anger, they are also extremely ineffective and proven to be ultimately lethal in the long run. They are essentially a ‘band-aid’; a temporary reprieve to the underlying issue.Some questions often asked are: do drugs and alcohol help control anger? Do these substances help numb anger and other emotions? Do they actually change emotions? The answers are yes, yes and yes. Drugs and alcohol can certainly change how we feel. . . yet only for a short time. Illegal drugs and alcohol mask our authentic feelings resulting in our feeling numb to the emotions that are present. The drugs or alcohol taken affect the chemical levels in our brain. Consequently this then affects our choices, our behavior, our actions, our bodies.  Despite repeated use, the anger does not dissipate. These substances cannot help to manage emotions long-term nor can it diminish the anger. Using substances to help regulate emotions in an attempt to “feel better” is only a quick fix. What does this means for that anger we woke up with this morning? It comes back.  Unfortunately, continued use of illicit drugs and alcohol only results in an increase in tolerance to these substances. This can mark a change in the cycle of use. Substance use patterns shift and the beginning stages of the cycle of addiction may now be present.  What does that mean for the anger and the high level of intensity? Sadly, research has shown that the cycle of anger and addiction is intertwined and, as the saying goes, “Wait, if you think I’m angry now. . . “