I think 'high elder' that in this context it may have been referring to being re-admitted as an active and participating member of the church, as opposed to what he was before, ie formally chrismated but in all respects effectively lapsed as a member of the Orthodox church.
Since an active Alcoholic is to all intents and purposes a slave to their addiction they can not truly be said, I think it is fair to say remain people whose primary purpose is to serve God and to work ft fufill his will. Believe me, having worked with active Alcoholics I would say that it is obvious that Godlike devotion is far from their priorities and many, and i would agree with this, would admit to being in the thrall of some form of demonic possession, although alcoholism can not always be so readily simplified..
In the Russian Trebnik (Book of Needs) there are found 1)Service composed by Patriarch Methodius of Constantinople for the reception of various people that have denied Christ and are returning to the True & Orthodox Faith; & 2)Prayer for Cleansing those who have denied Christ and are returning to the true Faith.
What is very important to notice here are the words "those who have denied Christ". Many alcoholics through a form of idolatory, possession, or even the very many evil and hurtful things which accompany their addiction , have in effect denied Christ. I have rarely found active alcoholism associated with piety or christian devotion, though sometimes alcoholics will go to great lengths to maintain a pretence of piety, either through guilt or deceit. Whatever the reasons extended active alcoholism, wiyh its destrcution of the self, the family and the self esteem of the victim are I believe irrefutably in contradiction to a healthy life in Christ. Repentence is possible and is often remarkable in transforming the addict from a a state of moral and mentak turpitude to one of admirable and often extremely impressive grace.