The individual effects of alcoholism or alcohol use disorder in the workplace can impact your company in several ways, including lost productivity and a higher risk of injuries. It is crucial to address alcohol addiction to prevent situations that may have detrimental effects.

A male employee holding a shot glass on his desk

In this article, we will delve into the hidden costs of alcoholism in the workplace setting and how alcohol addiction treatment can effectively address it.

The Effects of Alcohol Addiction in the Workplace

When an employee struggles with alcoholism, it is not just their problem; it affects everyone around them. Drinking too much alcohol can harm your health, but beyond the personal implications, it brings various issues in a professional setting.

Lost Productivity

Alcoholism can affect one’s ability to perform normal tasks. Employees grappling with alcohol addiction might find it challenging to meet deadlines or maintain their quality of work, leading to lost productivity.

Increased Absenteeism

Failure to show up can have a far-reaching impact on the team. Absences, whether due to hangovers or alcohol-related health problems, can disrupt the workflow and cause added workload for other team members. This can affect team cohesion.

Workplace Accidents

Alcohol can impair judgement and reflexes, slowing one’s reaction time to situations and increasing the risk of workplace accidents or injuries, especially in jobs requiring precision and operating machinery.

Additional Healthcare Costs

The long-term repercussions of alcohol abuse on an employee’s health may result in higher healthcare expenses for companies.

Recognising Alcohol Use Disorder in the Workplace

An employee struggling with alcoholism may not be easily recognisable, especially if they are high-functioning, which means they can still effectively perform their tasks despite their dependence on alcohol. Addiction may involve subtle signs or patterns such as frequent absences or tardiness, changes in appearance or behaviour, declining job performance, or avoidance of colleagues or supervisors.

There may also be instances where they may be observed to have the smell of alcohol on their breath during work hours, which is a more apparent tell-tale sign. If certain red flags cause concern, it is important to approach the issue with sensitivity and compassion.

Offering Help and Support

Addressing alcoholism in the workplace is not just the responsibility of the HR department or the top management but the collective effort of the entire organisation. By fostering an environment of understanding, education, and support, companies can tackle alcoholism proactively, ensuring the well-being of their staff while safeguarding organisational interests.

The issue of alcoholism in the workplace requires tact and understanding. Beyond identifying the issue, it is crucial to approach it delicately and have a constructive plan. Here are some steps a company can take to address it:

Educational Workshops

Organise seminars or workshops about the dangers of alcoholism and its impact on professional and personal lives. Empower your employees with knowledge of the company policies and local laws about alcohol consumption during work hours and work-related events.

Open communication channels and encourage a workplace culture where employees can talk about their struggles without fear of reprisal. Ensure discretion and confidentiality to help promote early identification and intervention. Let employees understand that the intention is not to punish but to help and support their recovery.

Promote healthier alternatives that encourage team-building and recreational activities that do not centre around alcohol. This can help shift the company culture towards healthier activities, coping mechanisms, and social interactions.

A group of adults sitting in a sharing circle

Establish an Employee Assistance Programme that may offer confidential assessment, counselling, and referrals to outside agencies for employees struggling with personal or work-related issues. Additional employee support, such as offering flexible schedules or rehabilitation leave for those undergoing treatment, can help support their recovery and enable them to maintain their professional standing. Encourage professional assistance and provide access to resources and treatment options.

Recovery and Rehabilitation at The Cabin Chiang Mai

The Cabin Chiang Mai, Thailand offers an effective programme for employees seeking professional help for alcohol use disorder. Our world-class programme for alcohol addiction includes residential and inpatient treatment with highly trained and licensed professional therapists and counsellors.

Private treatment are designed with your recovery in mind.

Our innovative and unique approach combines cognitive behavioural therapy with a modernised version of the 12-step programme. This involves holistic healing with activities such as yoga, meditation, and physical exercise as integral parts of the recovery process. We also provide an environment conducive to healing and recovery, with purpose-built luxury resort-style accommodation and facilities in a peaceful area of Chiang Mai.

Are you concerned about alcoholism in the workplace?

Learn more about The Cabin’s rehab programme for alcohol addiction. Our comprehensive approach ensures that the journey from addiction to recovery is as smooth as possible.

About the Author

Lee Daniel Hawker-Lecesne

Lee Daniel Hawker-Lecesne

Clinical Director at The Cabin (MBPsS, British Psychological Society Number: 479469) Lee is a Registered Member of the British Psychological Society. He graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in the UK with a degree in Behavioural Science and a postgraduate clinical focus on addictions from the University of Bath. Lee is a focused and ambitious individual who has in-depth training and experience in a broad range of clinical psychological interventions in the treatment of addiction, dual diagnosis, and complex trauma.

Related Posts