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If you’re like most people, you’d probably prefer to avoid hiring an alcoholic employee. After all, what’s the likelihood of getting an alcoholic employee when so many people are actively seeking work these days? An alcoholic who drinks heavily over for some time often leads to an inability to perform their regular functions. After all, there is a causal relationship between alcohol addiction and a range of behavioral and mental disorders.

If you’re a business owner, you want to make sure that the people you hire will not only be able to perform their regular functions at work but that they’ll also be a good fit for your team. However, some people can perform well at work even though they have an alcohol addiction. They are commonly called high-functioning alcoholics.

What is a high-functioning alcoholic?

A high-functioning alcoholic is a person who has alcohol addiction, but who can manage it well enough to function normally and hold down a job. A high-functioning alcoholic can perform work among other activities without the impairment that comes with heavy drinking.

Some people are genetically predisposed to developing an alcohol tolerance and a tendency to drink excessively. Other people may try drinking alcohol as a coping mechanism for anxiety or stress. And for many, drinking becomes a regular part of social occasions, without necessarily having other underlying issues.

Are high-functioning alcoholics bad employees?

While high-functioning alcoholics can mask their alcohol addiction and still be able to perform their tasks excellently, they can be a terrible risk to hire. You may not consider them bad employees as they can still deliver the responsibilities they are given, however, that does not mean they are also considered ‘good employees’. They may be able to perform many of the same functions as an employee who is not an alcoholic, but they may not have the same emotional intelligence.

They may be able to cover up their symptoms well enough to get through a job interview, but you cannot be sure if they can do the same when they are finally on your team.

Another risk of hiring high-functioning alcoholics is the tendency for them to gravitate toward activities that provide alcohol. Even if you prevent alcohol from being served at your place of business, an alcoholic employee may be able to get their hands on it at team dinners or a bar after work. This puts them in danger of getting in trouble with the law, as well as with their employers.

How can you tell if a job applicant is a high-functioning alcoholic?

There are some warning signs that someone might be a high-functioning alcoholic. The best way to test the risk of hiring a high-functioning alcoholic is to conduct a thorough job interview and a comprehensive pre employment drug screening. Corporate drug screening can help your company check if a candidate is abusing illegal drugs or has a problem with alcohol.


It can be difficult to tell if a job applicant is a high-functioning alcoholic without conducting a thorough corporate drug screening. Make smart hiring decisions by partnering with a reliable pre employment drug screening company.

Drug Testing

Author Drug Testing

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