In Secondhand Drinking, Alcohol Misuse, Prevention Resources

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), the impacts of alcohol misuse in the work place include:

  • Tardiness/sleeping on the job

  • After-effects of substance use (hangover, withdrawal) affecting job performance

  • Poor decision making

  • Loss of efficiency

  • Theft

  • Lower morale of co-workers

  • Increased likelihood of having trouble with co-workers/supervisors or tasks

  • Preoccupation with obtaining and using substances while at work, interfering with attention and concentration

  • Illegal activities at work including selling illicit drugs to other employees

  • Higher turnover

  • Training of new employees

  • Disciplinary procedures

Additionally, family members living with someone’s misuse may also suffer significant job performance related problems — including absenteeism, lack of focus, increased health-related problems (especially those caused by stress, such as stomach ailments, sleep problems, anxiety, headaches) and use of health insurance. Check out “Why Take on Secondhand Drinking in the Workplace?

What is Alcohol Misuse?

It is a drinking pattern that exceeds “normal” or “low-risk” limits and causes a person’s behaviors to change. These behavioral changes are the result of the ethyl alcohol chemical in alcoholic beverages changing the way brain cells to talk one another. This change is what causes drinking behaviors, such as verbal, physical or emotional abuse or driving while impaired.

“Normal” or “low-risk” limits are defined as:

  • For women: no more than 7 standard drinks per week, with no more than 3 of the 7 in a day
  • For men: no more than 14 standard drinks per week, with no more than 4 of the 14 in a day.

Exceeding these limits results in a variety of drinking patterns. Three of the most common are heavy social drinking, binge drinking, and alcohol abuse.

When a person’s drinking pattern results in drinking behaviors, that person causes secondhand drinking — the negative impacts of drinking behaviors on others.

Tools & Information to Help Employees Avoid Alcohol Misuse | Secondhand Drinking

Three common reasons people unintentionally drink more than they’d planned include not knowing standard drinking sizes, numbers of standard drinks in common cocktails, and numbers of standard drinks in common drink containers.

Sharing the following links from the NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)’s website, Rethinking Drinking, with employees can give them key information to help them avoid alcohol misuse and secondhand drinking:

Lastly, share NIAAA’s Interactive Worksheets & More. From here, employees can find key tools to evaluate their drinking, decide whether and how to make a change, and find tools to help them stay in control.

Lisa Frederiksen
Lisa Frederiksen has a 39-year career in executive management, consulting, speaking, training and writing and is the founder of BreakingTheCycles.com 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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