Alcoholism in the workplace is more common than you may think. Alcoholics hide their alcohol use well, and their drinking problems in the work place may or may not be obvious. The signs are there, but they may be subtle. Alcoholism in the work place does not benefit anyone and preventing it will increase production and morale.
Facts about Alcoholism in the Workplace
Alcoholics in the workplace are more likely to get injured on the job than those who are sober. Alcohol decreases awareness and alcoholics in the workplace are dangerous to themselves and their coworkers. In an emergency room study, thirty-five percent of patients with an occupational related injury were alcoholics or at risk of being alcoholics.
Alcoholics are generally problem prone in the workplace as well. Because alcohol clouds judgment, alcoholics will make more mistakes in their work and cause more upsets with clients. Alcoholics are generally not careful and do not pay attention to details when it comes to work.
Alcoholics are known to be late frequently and lazy on the job. Alcohol causes one to pass out and sleep deeply through alarms and morning wake up calls. Hangovers cause one to move slowly and be less aware of what is going on around oneself, causing alcoholics to be less efficient than sober coworkers.
Alcohol also causes people to be more irritable and prone to violence. Employees who are alcoholics have more disciplinary problems and have a higher likelihood of having trouble with coworkers and supervisors. Alcoholics also tend to be high turnover employees who cannot keep a job for a long period of time. This is largely due to their attitudes and performance in the workplace which is subpar because of their alcoholism.
Preventing Alcoholism in the Workplace
Alcohol has become common at work lunches, dinners and parties. Celebrating statistical improvements or financial gains is often commemorated with alcohol. However, it is unprofessional for employees to be intoxicated in the workplace. Mixing alcohol and work can be unprofessional and awkward.
Increasing awareness of the dangers of alcohol in the workplace (and in general) will decrease the number of alcohol related deaths and increase productivity in the workplace. April is Alcohol Awareness Month. It is meant to raise awareness in the workplace and encourage people everywhere to learn more about alcohol abuse and its consequences.
Alcohol and Young Americans
Alcohol is the number one drug of choice for young Americans, and alcohol is more likely to kill people than all illegal drugs combined. Drinking often begins at a young age despite legal restrictions. Every day, an average of seven thousand young people take their first drink under the age of sixteen.
Preventing alcohol abuse in young people could largely prevent alcohol addiction later in life. Children tend to copy their parent’s actions. Parents who drink regularly around their children are more likely to have children who use and abuse alcohol before they are over the age of twenty-one.
Also, more than seventeen hundred college students are killed every year because of alcohol use. That is nearly five college students who die per day because of alcohol. These students are lacking the knowledge and awareness needed to prevent drinking large quantities of alcohol.
Drinking excessively in the workplace often starts in college. Those who graduate and go into the workplace with a drinking problem are likely to slow down productivity. By increasing awareness on alcohol addiction and the risks involved, everyone will be able to live happier and more productive lives.
NCAAD National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence: Alcohol and the Workplace
NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month: NCADD Announces 2014 NCADD Alcohol Awareness Month Theme “Help for Today. Hope for Tomorrow”