Most Americans say they accept alcoholism as a disease (79%), but when considering a new hire, many people reveal a bias against the recovering alcoholic or addict, according to a national survey by the Hazelden Foundation. The telephone survey of 1,500 found that if the respondents had to choose between two equally qualified job candidates -- one who's a recovering alcoholic and one who never needed treatment for alcoholism -- almost half (47%) said they would hire the one who never needed treatment. Only 14% said they would hire the recovering person, while 34% said they had no preference. When respondents were asked to choose between two job candidates -- one who's a recovering drug addict and one who never needed treatment for drug addiction, 60% said they would hire the one who never needed treatment. Only 10% said they would hire the recovering person, while 26% said they had no preference. "Obviously more education needs to be done to help the public understand addiction and recovery," says Bob Ferguson, director of alumni relations for Hazelden. "It is unfair to discriminate against people who are recovering from this disease. Thousands of alcoholics and addicts go through treatment each year and return to healthy, productive lives." The Hazelden Foundation is a nonprofit organization providing treatment, education, prevention, and professional services in chemical dependency and related addictive disorders. Hazelden has been helping people recover from the disease of alcohol and drug dependency since 1949.