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
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
Training of new employees
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:
- Standard Drink Sizes – What Counts as a Drink
- How Many Drinks in Common Drink Containers
- Numbers of Standard Drinks in Common Cocktails
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.