Could you still do your job if you were really high or fairly drunk?

A friend of mine writes technical manuals for income and I know he likes to get high, but he told me that he works high too. It takes a few days to a week to type up these manuals and he does it all high. Another friend is a hostess at a restaurant and by the end of the night she's usually had a few drinks, it's all about socialising with tables and clients. It'd help the time pass faster if you've got to work all day, that's for sure.

So whether you'd have to try and hide your inebriation or work at home, I just want to know could you do your regular job while drunk or high. Or if you're a creative type who is always high or drunk, could you do your job while sober if you had to?


  • No. We have random drug testing at my workplace. If caught out it would not be pretty.

    • Are these usually in employment contracts? I don’t remember reading it on mine, not that I have an issue with it

    • Working on rail projects it's quite "in your face" as you regularly see workers losing their ability to get onto a rail project (and effectively losing their rail career for 12 months) after testing positive in an alc/drug test. It happens once per month and we get around 2-3 workers test positive.

      • Working on rail projects it's quite "in your face" as you regularly see workers losing their ability to get onto a rail project (and effectively losing their rail career for 12 months) after testing positive in an alc/drug test. It happens once per month and we get around 2-3 workers test positive.

        deservedly so. That is not an industry where any leniency should be tolerated. What is a little scary though is that you still get 2-3 workers test positive a month, they should know and expect to be tested yet were not able to stay off the grog or drugs.

    • where do you work?

  • It depends on the person and it depends on the industry.
    Altered mindset can lead to excellence or disaster.

    You and me might not be able to function at a higher level under the influence but for some people part of their brain is unlocked and they excel.

    You’re obviously not describing people who are dysfunctional in society but possibly the opposite.

    The key is to remain nonjudgmental.
    It might not be your thing but it works for them

    It’s a bit tricky asking something like this on this forum because there’s a lot of members who are very mainstream and judgemental.
    They recoil at the thought of anyone acting outwith social boundaries and bureaucratic regulations.

    There’s no way I could do my job out of it but if I was creative or dealing with the public in a way that didn’t potentially harm them it might be different

  • +22 votes

    A drunk and high monkey could do my job. :D

    • Really?
      When drunk I struggle to get the key in the front door let alone pick it.
      When drunk I always lose at the roulette table.
      When drunk I can't even find my diesel truck.

      • Are you drunk now?

        • No. Just cheeky references to Pegaxs past careers.

          • @MS Paint: *I_Understood_that_Reference.gif*

            And mine was a dig at all the people that come in and tell me "Oh, I could have done that…" but didn't, and still payed me to do it for them… :D

      • I need a certain level of alcohol toxicity to unblock my "super brain" and predict where the little white ball lands in the roulette table.
        Works 60% of the time, and on the other 40% where it does not work, I don't play.
        Don't tell my wife, when I don't play, because I "don't connect" I enjoy the view of all the young girls in their tight dresses and great cleavage.

  • Could you still do your job if you were really high or fairly drunk?

    To what standard?

  • No - I fall asleep when I get tipsy so I'd never be able to concentrate. I never drink even a drop if I have to drive anytime that day.

  • Some jobs getting high is part of the job description, Trapeze Artist, Wind turbine technician, Rock-climbing instructor,
    I think I'd need drugs to do them. I think alcohol would make me think I could do them. lol

    • I trust you’re not employed to comment, but I applaud your hands-on spirit of investigation.

  • I pick up trash and put it in bigger trash.

    So probably no because then I would end up falling all over the place carrying trash everywhere and then laughing because I am high.

  • No. Have tried to and failed many times. 😂

    • Dealing with kindergarteners would require drugs to make it through the day if you ask me…

  • no.

    we do have friday 4pm drinks however, but nobody does any work at these hours anyway.

  • No. I work in mental health and addiction so can’t see that ending well

  • Sure, emergency physicians should drink and be high. What could go wrong.

    Unless it’s a term of your employment that you should be high, or that it’s acceptable to do, then don’t do it.

    That being said, I know lots of people in finance that do heaps of drugs to stay up, work harder, do more etc etc. it’s a shot idea. Whatever you’re doing imho.

  • Can, but generally don't.

    If you're taking drugs to make the job more interesting, then it's boring, if you're taking them to fight fatigue, then you're overworked and under-rested, if it's to deal with frustration, one should develop other coping mechanisms.

    However, if you can perform and they get you through a difficult time, drugs can be useful. They are not without considerable dangers and drawbacks, but they can be useful nonetheless.

  • Yeah, it really wouldn't go down well if your occupation was assisting those recovering from alcohol or drug abuse haha

  • Doing my job often leaves me on a high.

  • I’m a drug dealer so it goes hand in hand with the job.

  • Environmental Scientist - fieldwork component could probably get away with being reasonably tipsyish. Assuming the driving is safe.

    For the reporting side, borrow a leaf from Hemmingway and write drunk, edit sober.

  • I have to use a breathalyzer before I start every shift. Also drug tested usually once a week. (mining) it's a good thing though with the size of the machinery and weight of components getting lifted, you wouldn't want anyone impaired.

  • I work in the rail industry. We have a zero tolerance for any alcohol or drugs. There are regular tests. Anything in our system is reason for immediate dismissal regardless if you are working on the track or in the office.

  • I work retail in a supermarket, it's too full on to manage that while drunk, don't want to run between checkouts, deli, markdowns and fruit and veg, there's no way I'd be able to do it when I struggle now as it is.

    • Not to mention that workplace insurance wouldn't cover you if you injured yourself and you were under the influence

      • Sure about that? WorkCover I believe is a no fault system? Could be wrong - I've seen a lot of doozies in claims, but never someone drunk.

  • Random drug tests and daily breathalyzer here.

  • 15 years of IT work has convinced me the Ballmer Peak is real.

    • It's real, however hitting that peak consistently is what defines SRE's from mere mortals.

    • Didn’t realise there was an “official” name. Always called it the zoop, zone of optimum performance. Like cranking a few beers and a game of pool. Start paying like Ronnie O’Sullivan after a few and then fall off a cliff.

  • Did Friday drinks with the boss, then another team (after hours) and was still able to push out a report for a friend/colleague so would manage ok. It did take me twice as long though.

    • Done some of my best reports during xmas season. You can get distracted though, so best to agree with yourself that you'll probably not be getting any sleep that night.

  • Absolutely, even when operating heavy machinery!

    But sadly the party normally spills out into the open and the fun police get involved, fun police never sleep

  • When I was a chef yes all the time, as a software engineer no way. I found if you like a drink the hospitality industry is a good fit

  • Nope for me coz it would eliminate all motivation for me to actually work!

  • i drive a forklift in my job it wouldn't end well

  • Probably…

  • Strict No No to drinks if you are working

    1. Legally you can jeopardize your job or loose your job if proved drunk
      2.research has shown that our brain is impaired with critical tasks or reactions if one is drunk

    If unlucky can put yourself in danger at work place

    - no indemnity cover for any work related events or injuries

    Earning and job is as important to manage a optimal life and comittments

    Unless you are filthy rich to risk your reputation or financially free from any comittments

    • What if you're self employed and the only one to report you is yourself. I guess not showing much personal discipline is how bad bosses are made, when those self employed people finally do need to hire a number of people to work under them. Willie Nelson leads his team and he's blitzed all day. If you watch concert videos you can see right after a show he'll sometimes get even more high where he can't even answer questions anymore. And I bet if he just stopped getting high that his vibe and enterprise could fall apart and stop earning him, his family, and his employees money. Imagine if Willie Nelson decided one day to clean up his life and live straight edge and all focused and determined all the time. Or if Snoop Dog stone cold sober was working the counter at an electronics store, fo shizzling you in on Telstra's latest iPhone bundle. Or even if Snoop just started rapping about ironing your work shirt and making a good impression on your regional manager and stuff. On the flip side, imagine Steve Ballmer trying to be cool and amping up a crowd like a rockstar, or a geek like Bill Gates laying casually like an underwear model next to a computer. That doesn't work either when a job that usually requires you to be an inebriated creative is taken up by someone who is really firmly set in a straight normal salaryman lifestyle.

  • As a web developer, sometimes the best coding and development is done when you are a little drunk but then when you review it, you go, "What did I do that for?" or "Why is that working? I have no idea why, but it does!".

  • Yes. Did that all the time. Used to fly plane, make the landing a bit more tricky.


  • Mate, don’t kid yourself… your friends have issues with alcohol and drug dependency

  • Politics. I think most politicians are perpetually under the influence of drugs or atleast act like they are.

  • I could tell you to reboot your computer to fix your issues while stoned out of my mind or blind drunk I reckon. My work is mind numbingly simple most of the time.

    Can't say I'd want to be drunk or stoned while talking to a client though.

    • "Have you tried switching it off and on again?" 🤣

      • +3 votes

        No kidding right, I have the boot time plastered on all end user desktops + a script I can run that gives me the time just so I can say don't (profanity) lie to me Janette, reboot your computer. (and yes fast startup is globally disabled)

  • There's an old saying in IT - I was told it in 1995 and it was an old saying then - if you're sober enough to login, you're sober enough to do the job.

  • Rarely. Fairly drunk is usually too far.

    Jobs like sales, management and hospitality can be done while tipsy or mildly drunk. But the impact that regular alcohol has on your body is bad.

    It also sucks to work with most alcoholics as they can be a bit all over the place. Their results might be excellent, but parts of their work is often inconsistent. Then you get the stubbornness, the inability to judge or accept their own weaknesses.

    Some creatives believe they thrive off it. What they usually thrive off is all the drama caused by their altered state. You still usually need a sober person to filter out the garbage.

    Other people will work drunk as it takes the tedium out of it. The problem with these people is they rarely grow so their output stagnates (and can drop of a cliff if their drinking increases).

  • A friend of mine


  • I'm fairly sure it's half a requirement to be on something during June in my entire industry. I personally stick to having as many panic attacks as it takes to get things done(this year was a record of 4)

    As for alcohol, we have a beer fridge that gets raided every Friday. With us WFH, there is a now a specific Zoom Meeting at 4pm every Friday to compensate

    • As someone who had a panic attack in woolworths earlier this year with no stimulus I get it. I talked to my doc, upped my anti-depressants and got prescribed some benzo's for the really nasty days. I've used half a pill on a handful of stressful days and not really noticed a difference, but my overall stress levels those days stayed lower than I would have expected.

      Pretty much every person I know who's on medications for various mental illnesses has had their dosages increased or has gone through a shitload of hard work to get better through this year. There doesn't seem to be a happy middle ground of people being stable.

      • Ooooof Benzo's…the fun stuff along with Prozac. I'm on a triple pill mainly for nerve pain but, it helps with both the anxiety and depression and I quite like it. The only major side effect is that I get knocked out within 2-3 hours of taking it which I do not complain about :P

        I am still on a waiting list for my psych even though my score is high 30's from my GP :P Plus, stability is overrated and the normalisation of mental health issues needed to happen and a global pandemic is a good a time as any.

        • Yeah, I'm trying to avoid them as much as possible, but I can't argue with them helping.

          If you can find a bulk billing psych yourself and get an appt lined up before asking for a referral you might be able to shortcut the time it takes. I went to a private psych who gives me a rebate but each session still costs 80 out of pocket. I'd recommend it if you're at high 30's. I'm at a 27 and feel like I'm just getting through.

          It might be hard, but make it a priority to at least get a psychiatrist appt lined up, and then try to get onto a psychologist after getting medication sorted. If nothing else getting onto it earlier will save you money long term, and that's why we're all on OzBargain after all :p

          Sending you the big positive energy. Know that a random internet stranger thinks you can make it through this.

          • @Intoxicoligist: That's ok :) We all need some help anyway we can get it ^_^

            Thank you for the tip :) I am waiting for an appointment at the bulk billing center I used to go to prior to COVID but, even they have a 2+ month waiting list and my psych left the practice so, it's fun times :P And 37 was me being fine :P It will get worse for me since I have frontal lobe scars (yay being pre-MS) but for now, I am actually pretty happy despite the score :P

            Hahah saving money when you're pre-MS and an amazing private neurologist is pretty hard but, thank you :) I love the posts and it brightens up my day…until I have to bite my tongue about car accidents and Insurance :P

            Thank you for your lovely kind comment and the support <3 Likewise back to you and here if you ever want to vent to a stranger :P

  • The other side of the question is would you want to work with drunk or intoxicated colleagues all day long in your job or office?
    As if Christmas parties have taught us anything there is always a couple of people who take things waaaaay too far.