How To Deal With a Violent Drunk

People respond to alcohol in different ways, but there are certain archetypes that seem to show up often enough.

One of the types of drunk is what’s known as a “violent drunk”. Some people get really happy, emotional, and giddy when they drink, and that would frankly make it a lot easier to deal with alcoholics than someone who becomes violent and angry.

Dealing With a Violent Drunk: Determine Your Level of Responsibility

The way that you deal with an angry drunk is going to depend greatly on who you are, and who they are to you. Here, we’ll explain…

The way the child of an angry drunk engages with them will be different than how a bouncer at a club or a police officer is supposed to interact with an angry drunk.

A police officer will need to physically detain them if they’re being violent, whereas if you’re just a person walking down the street and a drunk person starts screaming at you, you won’t want to engage them.

So, when you think about the angry drunk that brought you to this website, what’s your relationship to them?

Dealing With a Violent Drunk Person Safely

The first thing you should do is make sure that you’re safe. That’s priority number one.

If the angry drunk is someone you care about and you’re worried they’ll hurt themselves, make sure that you are safe first.

Remember They Made Their Choice

Now, there’s a whole discussion about alcoholism and how “at fault” somebody with a drinking problem is, but at the end of the day, if they’re a violent drunk and they keep drinking, then the consequences are on them.

An alcohol probably isn’t choosing to drink in the sense that most people make choices, or at least, choosing no to drink is a much harder decision for them, but at the end of the day they’re still responsible for what they do and that includes the things they do when they’re drunk.

You can give someone some leeway when they’re battling addiction, but there’s a point where they have to choose to get help and work on it. If they aren’t working on it, and they keep making the choice to drink (by not seeking help), then they need to be responsible for the consequences.

You aren’t responsible to bear the brunt of their consequences just by virtue of being in their life.

Get Help For the Situation

If you aren’t a police officer, a security guard, or somebody else who is trained and expected to deal with physical confrontations with angry, violent, drunk people then don’t put yourself in danger.

Sometimes, you can’t help it. If you’re with an abusive parent or partner, you might be thrust into a violent situation against your will, which is different than engaging a stranger in public.

In these situations, again, the first priority is to get yourself to safety as best you can. Call a friend, another family member, the police, whatever you have to do.

Yes, the drunk person might get in trouble, they might get arrested, and so on – but they’ve put themselves in that position and its your responsibility to yourself (and anyone else in the home) to get out of that situation safe.

Find Resources to Help Them

When someone gets scary when they’re drunk, that doesn’t mean they’re beyond being helped.

If you aren’t in immediate danger, or danger in general, like if they don’t take their violence out on other people, then you can attempt to approach them with various resources that might be able to help them stop drinking.

They will need to recognize they have a problem and be willing to get help. If someone gets violent when they drink, they need to stop drinking in order to stop being violent.

There are also probably underlying frustrations, mental health issues, and other things that cause them to react violently which can all be addressed by a professional.

There’s a telephone number at the top of this page that leads to resources for finding a rehab program for an alcoholic. It’s possible to overcome these struggles.

Just remember, keep yourself safe as a top priority, since a violent drunk isn’t going to look out for you or your safety. Get yourself self, and depending on your relationship with them, see if they’re willing to get help. If they refuse, you have to separate yourself from them so that they can’t be violent towards you.

Category: Articles
Martijn van Eijk
Martijn is a passionate creator and the driving force behind He created this website to assist individuals and their families in conquering alcohol addiction and finding a joyful, fulfilling life after alcohol. With a deep understanding of the challenges they face, he empowers readers with valuable insights and practical guidance on their journey towards recovery. Author of the Stop Shaking Book.