Alcoholism and the Workplace 


Alcohol misuse in the work environment is becoming an increasingly growing problem.

It is important to realize that alcoholism does not discriminate and affects people of all social and economic situations.

It is commonly thought that alcoholics are unemployable however, it has been estimated that 75% of alcoholics are employed full-time.

Some studies suggest that alcohol may be the cause of 25% of accidents in the workplace. Additionally, the cost from loss of productivity and absenteeism has been estimated in the billions of dollars range. One of the problems of alcoholism is the effect the disease has on people in close proximity to the alcoholic.

Next to family members, work colleagues are next in line to be affected by a persons drinking. In many cases, the work partners spend time trying to cover for the alcoholic, which prolongs the difficulties of working with an alcoholic and in actuality enables the person doing the drinking.

As far as the government and authorities are concerned, a persons decision to drink is his or her own business and has no place being discussed in the workplace.

However, when the drinking begins to affect the persons work performance and the performance of people around him the employer has a reasonable right to be concerned and involved.

As the employer or supervisor, it is important to remain in the position of supervising. It is the employers job to supervise the employee and determine their ability to carry out the work required, get the job done, and discover any problems as they arise.

It is not the job of the employer to diagnose alcoholism or any other disease.

Signs that there could be a problem with alcohol are:
Unexplained or unauthorized absences from work
Frequent tardiness
Excessive use of sick leave
Missed deadlines
Careless or sloppy work
Strained relationships with co-workers
Short-tempered and argumentative particularly in the mornings
Sleeping on duty
Excessive use of breath mints or mouth wash
Bloodshot eyes
Staggering or unsteady gait
The smell of alcohol.

If the employer determines that alcohol may be a problem it is important to confront the employee with the facts and then offer ways that the company will help the person recover and get help.

 Did You Know


Alcoholism is a progressive and potentially fatal disease. Alcoholism itself is not curable but it is possible to recover completely. Recovering from alcohol is to abstain from all forms of alcoholic beverages and medications that contain alcohol such as cough medicines.

Alcoholism is considered a chronic illness. As with any chronic illness, it affects entire families. As a result, the recovery process also affects the entire family and network of friends of the alcoholic. The good news is that these people can serve as a good support network to enable the alcoholic to abstain from drinking alcohol.

The same way a family would support a chronically ill person is how the alcoholic should be treated because alcoholism is chronic.

Anyone who is an alcoholic will be an alcoholic for the rest of his or her lives.  Even though there is no cure for alcoholism, there is hope for the alcoholic.  That is where recovery comes in  the abstinence from all alcohol on the part of the addicted person.  

This is where the control part of the disease comes into play.  It is important to be able to control the desire to have alcohol and to choose not to drink it.  Unfortunately, the sheer nature of being an alcoholic is defined by the lack of an ability to control ones drinking.  

In order to enter the recovery phase and thus control the disease itself, the alcoholic must come to the place where he or she is able and willing to take control and stop reaching for alcohol.

Research has shown that the alcoholic cannot willfully control his drinking and therefore should be abstinent. The alcoholic has to accept responsibility for his addiction and recovery.

It is completely appropriate for the employer to hold an intervention in the case of an employee, who will not admit to a problem with alcohol, has no family who will or can step in to help, and is clearly suffering in the workplace because of the alcohol drinking.
It is important for the employer to avoid being an enabler but to be supportive and give the employee every opportunity to get help and keep their job.
Interesting Facts

If the employee refuses to get help, fails at getting help and continues to have their work suffer due to alcoholism, it is within the rights of the employer to let the employee go.

 If the employee refuses to get help, fails at getting help and continues to have their work suffer due to alcoholism, it is within the rights of the employer to let the employee go.
It is suggested however, that the employer let the person go while still providing support and knowledge of ways to stop drinking and the possibility of a second chance upon recovery.
 alcohol affects

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What is the Attraction To Alcohol
Alcoholism is a Widespread Problem
The Difference Between Alcohol Dependence And Alcohol Abuse
FAQ's About Alcoholism Pt 1
FAQ's About Alcoholism Pt 2
A Brief Summary Regarding Alcoholism
Alcohol Abuse and the College Campus
The Brain And Alcohol
Health Risks For Women Alcoholics
Holiday Survival Guide For The Alcoholic
How A Child See's Alcoholism
Alcoholism Detoxification Steps
Alcoholism and the Workplace
The Children of Alcoholics
Common Questions About Alcoholism
Tests for Alcohol Use
Do All Alcoholics Need a Rehab Center
The Dangers and Penalties Of Drinking and Driving
The War On Drunk Driving
How To Determine When Someone Needs Professional Help
Some Facts About Alcoholism
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Diet Hints To Assist With Alcoholism Withdrawal
Helping Someone To Overcome Alcoholism
Alcoholism Risk Is Linked to Early Aged Drinking
A Portrait Of An Alcoholic
The Symptoms of Alcoholism
Basic Facts About Alcoholism
Hard Facts About Alcoholism
Cautions Concerning Non Alcoholic Beer
The College Campus And Alcoholism
Dangers of Alcoholism
Alcoholics Anonymous Steps 1-6
Alcoholics Anonymous Steps 6-12
What Causes An Alcoholic Blackout
New Shot to Treat Alcoholism
Alcoholism's Physical Effects
Group Support For Alcoholism
Threats From Alcoholism
The Truth About Alcoholism
Treating The Three Main Issues In Alcoholism
Treatments for Alcoholism
Vitamins and Supplements For The Alcoholic
Recovering From Alcoholism
Help Your Teen Avoid Becoming An Alcoholic
What Is Alcholism
Family Members Drinking Too Much
Explain Alcoholism
Who Are The Alcoholics
Women Fighting The Consequences of Alcoholism
Al Anon Support For The Alcoholic's Family
Health Consequences Of Alcoholism
Medications Used For Treating Alcoholism
Screening Tests For Alcoholism
What Is The Difference Between Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism
What the Bible Says About Alcohol Abuse
How to Stop Drinking Alcohol without AA
The Truth About Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholism - Curable or Just Controllable
The Causes of Alcoholism
So How Much Drinking Really Is Too Much?
Is Alcoholism Hereditary
What Children Need to Know About Alcohol
How to Recognize When Children are Drinking
What You Need to Know about how to Set Up an Intervention for an Alcoholic
How to Quit Drinking Without Gaining Weight