What is a Dry Drunk?

drug testing equipment suppliers,drug and alcohol test pricesA “dry drunk” is someone who does not necessarily drink alcohol, but who exhibits typical alcoholic behavior. In every sense of the word, they are a full-blown alcoholic. They simply do not need to consume alcohol in order to behave in an irrational, drunken manner. Typically, these people are classified under a psychotic category, since they have enough self control to not actually partake of the substance, but their mind is clearly looking for an outlet for their sociopathic behavior.

Dry alcoholics usually develop their erratic behavior over a period of a decade or more, starting in their child or teen years. Their sociopathic tendencies are seeking an outlet and, little by little, they form groups or circles of friends who are immune to any discrepancies in their social behavior. Over the years, they test out what they can “get away with” socially by allowing more and more of their sociopathic tendencies to leak out and by watching everyone else very carefully in order to gauge their reactions. If something is considered too strong or inappropriate, they gloss over it or act as if the accuser is being unreasonable, and they do not exhibit this behavior for a while.

In other words, a dry drunk is someone who attempts to make everyone else, specifically their circle of friends and acquaintances, unaware of and eventually immune to their psychotic behavior.

Once their closest circle of friends is essentially unaware of how irresponsibly they are behaving, the dry alcoholic can then engage in typical drunken, unreasonable and violent actions without being called into question for these outlets. It is a sickness and not a sickness where you can taper off your use of the drug. The drug resides within your mind and it is very potent.

If your employees are exhibiting erratic behavior but are testing clean on drug and alcohol screenings, they may be compromising your business. You may feel uneasy or distrustful of them and may not realize why. This is a circumstance where it is helpful to learn about typical alcoholic behavior and determine whether they are a dry drunk. There are a few things to keep in mind: dry drunks cannot be trusted with knowledge of company information once they are fired. They are vindictive and will stop at very little to get even. Also, they will probably spend a great deal of time slandering your name and the name of your business, so be prepared for that, as well.

Contact CMM Technology today for quality drug and alcohol screening equipment: +618-9204-2500.


Solberg, Richard W. The dry drunk syndrome. Rev. ed. Center, City, MN: Hazelden, 1983. Print.

Flaherty, J. A., H. T. McGuire, and Robert L. Gatski. The psychodynamics of the “dry drunk,” New York: American Journal of Psychiatry, 1955. Print.

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