Research has revealed that millions of adults reported having binge drank in the past 30 days. Many have admitted to heavy alcohol usage, which often points to alcohol addiction. While there is limited information on workplace alcoholism, unhealthy drinking behaviors are likely to spill over into the workplace.
Most alcohol consumers try to keep their consumption away from their workplace. When someone’s drinking begins to affect their work, this is often the first sign that their usage is out of control. That said, the workplace provides unique opportunities in the fight against alcohol abuse. Learn how Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston can help you or your loved one fight alcohol addiction and abuse by calling 866.516.8356 today.
Signs and Symptoms of Workplace Alcoholism
Several signs show that an employee or coworker is suffering from alcohol use disorder. Some people are considered functioning alcohol users. For others, it is impossible to separate their alcohol habits from workplace productivity. These are general signs that an individual could be struggling with workplace alcoholism or alcohol addiction:
- Frequent and unexplained lateness or absences
- Low levels of productivity and sluggishness, particularly in the morning
- Inconsistent job performance
- Hyperactivity, manic behavior, unsteadiness, or other signs of a hangover/drunkenness
- Secretive and defensive responses when queried about alcohol consumption habits
- Unkempt appearance, and remnants of alcohol in one’s breath
Look out for obvious signs that someone drinks on the job, like hiding out in the car during breaks or rushing out to secluded places and coming back smelling like alcohol. Frequent complaints about hangovers may indicate heavy alcohol use away from work.
Formal Diagnosis of Alcohol Abuse Disorder at Work
Suppose an employee displays most of these signs. In that case, a professional can assess whether they show the formal diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder. Here, the person demonstrates physical alcohol dependence or the inability to control their use. They may have tried to quit drinking several times without success. They may be unable to stop using alcohol, even in hazardous situations.
Before the diagnosis for AUD can be made, most of the symptoms above should have been present for one year or more. In the workplace, most workplace alcoholism signs can only be inferred from behavior or conversations with colleagues. In some cases, the person may open up when asked direct questions. More likely, though, they will lie about their alcohol use.
How to Intervene for Workers with Suspected AUD
It is critical to understand your workplace’s policies on drug and alcohol use. For example, most workplaces require colleagues to report risky alcohol usage, such as drinking on the job. Before confronting a worker with suspected workplace alcoholism, expect the worst reaction, like vehement denial, defensiveness, or even anger at the insinuation.
It is better to confront the individual privately. Express your concerns without being judgmental or accusatory. Use whatever facts you have gathered, such as unexplained absences or smelling like alcohol. Express concerns for their health and safety, and use examples of other people who have gotten help for similar problems. Intervention-style gatherings of coworkers can also be useful.
Getting Help for Functioning Alcohol Use and Addiction at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston
Suggest programs to help the person detox and begin their journey towards recovery. There are several treatment programs available according to their circumstances. You can help the person to choose from these options:
- Dual diagnosis treatment programs: These treatment options can be helpful if the person is also dealing with mental health issues
- Psychotherapy programs: These services are an integral part of addiction treatment.
- Medical detox programs: This program will help your loved one safely remove alcohol and other substances from their system.
- Trauma therapy programs: If the person’s abuse is rooted in trauma, this program can identify the root cause and help to address it.
If your coworker or someone you love is struggling with workplace alcoholism or functioning alcohol addiction, you can help them to take back control of their life. The journey to addiction recovery starts with a good alcohol detox program. Contact Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston at 866.516.8356 to set the right foundation for a permanent change.