Alcoholism in the Workplace
Alcoholism affects every industry in the U.S. through a combination of workplace accidents, lost productivity, absenteeism and low morale. According to an article published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, employers lose billions of dollars annually because of alcohol and drug abuse. The article states, “Combined data from 2008 to 2012 indicate that an annual average of 8.7 percent of full-time workers aged 18 to 64 used alcohol heavily in the past month, 8.6 percent used illicit drugs in the past month, and 9.5 percent were dependent on or abused alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year. The highest rates of heavy alcohol use in the past month among full-time workers aged 18 to 64 were found in the mining (17.5 percent) and construction industries (16.5 percent).” Rates of substance abuse were also particularly high among service industry workers, particularly restaurant servers and kitchen workers.
Issues linked to alcohol consumption before work or on the clock include:
- Showing up late to work.
- Falling asleep on the job.
- Significant loss of efficiency.
- Poor decision making and problem solving skills.
- Preoccupation with alcohol while at work.
- Theft and other illegal activities.
- Higher turnover rate/more employee training.
- Conflict with co-workers and employers.
- Disregard of safety procedures.
People who struggle with alcoholism while they are employed use roughly three times as many sick days. They are five times more likely to file a worker’s compensation claim, and they are significantly more likely to injure themselves or someone else on the job. Taking the time to enter into an alcohol detox program might seem unnecessary, but consider how much your productivity is going to increase long-term if you get a handle on your drinking problem sooner rather than later.