In Secondhand Drinking, Alcohol Misuse, Prevention Resources

Why would employers want to get involved with helping their employees with what to say to someone who drinks too much?

According to Samuel Stebbins’ September 29, 2017, article for 24/7 Wall St., titled: “Industries Suffering From the Most Substance Abuse,” past month employee heavy alcohol use ranges from 4.4% – 17.5% across 19 major industries. “Heavy alcohol use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on five or more days in a 30-day period.”

Below are a few industry examples of employee past month heavy alcohol use cited by Stebbins:

Construction – 16.5%

Accommodations and food services – 11.8%

Arts, entertainment, and recreation – 11.5%

Utilities – 10.3%

Wholesale trade –  10.2%

Management – 9.9%

Manufacturing – 9.7%

Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting –  9.4%

Retail trade – 9.0%

Real estate, rental, and leasing – 8.5%

Professional, scientific, and technical services – 7.7%

Finance and insurance – 7.4%

Educational services – 4.7% 

These are some significant numbers. Not only that, but the numbers of employees whose lives are affected by the employees with heavy past month alcohol use are even more significant.

These are the people affected by secondhand drinking, and secondhand drinking is a significant cost to companies and public agencies, as is the high cost of employee heavy alcohol use, both outlined here. Thus sharing information with employees via company or agency newsletters, Facebook or Twitter pages can help employees better understand what they can do to help themselves, whether they are the person experiencing secondhand drinking or the person causing it.

Helping Employees With What to Say to Someone Who Drinks Too Much

I receive numerous emails and phone calls every week from people worried, angry, frustrated or confused about someone’s drinking.

One of the most common questions people have is, “How much is too much?”  Based on my years of studying current brain research and working in this field, I answer my caller or email querier’s question with this answer, “Do their behaviors change when they drink?” If their answer is “Yes,” then I proceed with some variation of the information outlined in this post, What to say to someone who drinks too much.

And why do I start with drinking behaviors? Because it’s the behaviors a person exhibits while under the influence of too much alcohol that are the issue – not the numbers of drinks, not whether they’re an alcoholic or “just” an alcohol abuser, not if they’re mostly a good parent and don’t miss work, not because they’re so very sorry for what they did. Understanding the cause of the drinking behaviors is what helps a person better understand what to say, and as importantly, what not to say.

To provide this understanding and so much more, I invite you to share with your employees my post titled, “What to Say to Someone Who Drinks Too Much.”  To share this article link via your company or agency’s FB or Twitter networks, consider this 140 character message:

Worried about someone’s drinking? Check out, “What To Say to Someone Who Drinks Too Much,” for information, assessments, & resources


Lisa Frederiksen
Lisa Frederiksen has a 39-year career in executive management, consulting, speaking, training and writing and is the founder of and SHD Prevention. She has spent more than 14 years studying 21st century brain research in order to write, speak, and consult on substance use disorders prevention, intervention and treatment; mental disorders; addiction (aka substance use disorders) as a brain disease; adolescent addiction treatment vs adult addiction treatment; effective treatment for co-occurring disorders (having both a substance use and mental disorder); secondhand drinking | drugging; help for the family; and related subjects. Lisa is the author of hundreds of articles and eleven books, including, "Addiction Recovery: What Helps, What Doesn't," "Secondhand Drinking: The Phenomenon That Affects Millions," and “If You Loved Me, You’d Stop!” She is a national keynote speaker with over 25 years speaking experience, consultant, trainer, and frequent guest on radio, TV, and Internet radio shows.
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