Alcoholism in the workplace is a significant challenge for the worker, their colleagues, and superiors alike. The term ‘functioning alcoholic’ is a misnomer, considering the increased risks of being under the influence in the workplace. Learn how Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston can help you recognize the symptoms of alcohol use disorder in the workplace. Then, find out how you can get help for your employee or colleague by calling 866.516.8356 today.
Symptoms of Alcoholism in the Workplace
Specific signs in the workplace indicate that your employee or colleague is struggling with alcoholism in the workplace. The guidelines below are the formal criteria that many treatment experts use to identify alcohol use disorder in the workplace:
- If they are unable to control alcohol use
- Showing physical symptoms of alcohol addiction
- Several attempts to reduce or quit taking alcohol have not succeeded
- Significant time spent taking alcohol or recovering from a drinking spree
- Alcohol use in potentially hazardous situations, like drinking at work
- Sustained alcohol use regardless of negative impacts on work, relationships, or health
According to the guidelines, experts can only diagnose an alcohol use disorder if these symptoms if you’ve observed them for a year or more. Because it’s the workplace, you will only notice most symptoms by observing an employee/coworker’s workplace behavior. For example, you may not know whether they have tried to quit drinking or how much time they spend drinking.
How Can You Tell If Your Colleague Has Alcohol Addiction?
While coworkers cannot make a formal diagnosis of alcoholism in the workplace because they’re not qualified, they can tell whether a coworker is drinking on the job, showing up drunk, or hungover. This state presents a danger to the worker and his/her colleagues, and may even violate the company’s code of conduct.
If you suspect that your colleague has an alcohol use problem, you should reach out to your team leader. They can recommend a clinical evaluation to determine the extent of abuse/addiction. Some noticeable signs of an alcohol use disorder include:
- Frequent tardiness and unexplained absenteeism
- Low levels of productivity, especially at the start of the shift
- General lethargy or sluggishness in the mornings
- Odd or unusual behavior, like confusion, slurring words, forgetting important things, or hyperactivity
- Suspicion, defensiveness, or paranoia in the worker
- Physical symptoms like bloodshot eyes, shoddy appearance, or smelly breath
Drinking on the job is a visible sign of alcohol use disorder, and you should not ignore it. Even if the person drinks during their breaks, not being able to go through the day without using alcohol points towards alcoholism in the workplace.
How to Help a Functioning Alcoholic
Functioning alcoholics do not need disciplinary action; they need help and support. When alcohol use has reached critical levels like drinking at work, such a person is no longer in control of their habit. Disciplinary action or termination would only make matters worse for them.
Instead, reach out to them to determine the extent of their alcohol abuse disorder and determine ways to help them. At Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston, we have various programs to help detox and recover from alcoholism, such as:
- Alcohol detox program
- Residential treatment programs
- Men’s rehab programs
- Women’s rehab programs
- Medical detox program
If you suspect someone is dealing with mental health conditions or other factors that exacerbate their drinking, we recommend our dual diagnosis treatment program. Dual diagnosis treatment addresses both alcohol addiction and mental health issues.
Your co-worker shouldn’t have to battle addiction alone. Talk to Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston at 866.516.8356 if you need more information to help your coworker or employee deal with alcoholism in the workplace.