Closet drinking

drug testing equipment suppliers, drug and alcohol test pricesA closet drinker is an individual who drinks heavily in private and simultaneously tries to maintain the façade of normality or abstinence. Closet drinkers drink in private and go to great lengths to conceal their drinking patterns, drinking consumption and their alcohol related activities. They are the antipathy of social drinkers or “party drinkers’ preferring to consume alcohol in secret and away from others. Closet drinking may be, but is not always associated with a more developed style or pattern of problem drinking.

So…is there a closet drinker in your workplace? Would you know a closet drinker if you came across one? And do you know the signs and symptoms of closet drinking? Here is a helpful list of indicators that may be useful for you with regard to workplace alcohol monitoring and awareness:

  • Leaving early or showing up late or very late
  • Inconsistencies, mild dishonesties, white lies
  • Seems overly anxious
  • Empty bottles in workplace areas
  • Half full or partially full alcohol bottles in workplace areas
  • Hidden bottles
  • Alcohol in non-alcohol containers (such as a drink bottle, coffee cup etc.)[1]

Bodbeat also offers some good tips on the identification and monitoring of drinkers who conceal their drinking patterns and also cites the famous Diane Schuler case in the US. Schuler appeared apparently normal to family and colleagues, and crashed her car killing 8 people. While she appeared normal, her blood alcohol reading was at “unconsciousness” levels for most people and yet she was still functioning and able to drive. Her husband steadfastly maintained she was not a problem drinker because he had never seen her drinking. Prosecutors in the case against her argued she was a closet drinker and the accident was a consequence of her long-term and manipulative concealment of her alcohol addiction even to family members.[2] The Bodbeat site also maintains the top 5 warning signs for drinkers are:

  • Drink to get intoxicated or forget your problems (wanting to be numb)
  • Hide alcohol in unlikely places
  • Prefer to drink alone or in secret
  • Problems have arisen at work or home or school and the legal system because of alcohol
  • Frequently experience memory loss or blackout

You can help to ensure against closet drinking in your workplace by employing a good and reputable AOD screening programme. At CMM Technology, specialist staff have a wealth of experience concerning screening technologies and testing devices and approaches. These can be tailored to your organisation easily and promptly. For further information regarding CMM Technology’s products and advice, please call 618 9204 2500


[1] http://talkrehab.org/signs-of-closet-alcoholics/

[2] http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Spot-Closet-Alcoholics-174170252

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