Occupational Stress and Alcohol Addiction in the Workplace
There are a number of reasons which drives a person to consume way more alcohol on a regular basis than they ever should, but you may wonder if certain occupations put someone at more risk for binging, abuse and addiction?
Let’s face it alcohol can be easily accessed in many Western countries. In fact, it’s widely accepted by society and is a legal drug. For centuries, alcohol has been part of social gatherings and the workplace. However, in the last few decades, the aided use of alcohol in the workplace has increased.
Ask a business man or woman what one of the most common things at a dinner or late night meeting is and they may say cocktails, wine or beer. In fact, some countries such as Japan implore the use of alcohol before any negotiation or deal is met. Saying no can be a costly career move this is setting people up for addiction in the workplace.
Occupational Stress May Lead to Alcoholism
Although the research is still ongoing, it currently indicates that certain job environments cause more stress than others. This occupational stress is a major issue amongst workplaces around the globe and can include an increase in hours, lack of holidays, being underpaid, hostile environments and even harassment. When these do not align with the individual, they can develop a variety of physical and psychological disorders. It is these which have a direct impact on the person's’ professional or personal life and lead up to an addiction to alcohol.
Professions at Most Risk for Alcohol Abuse and Addiction
Out of the thousands of different professions, there are some which have been proven to cause more harm to an individual's overall wellbeing. In 2007, SAMSHA published a report that found the so called “glamour” professions such as those within the arts, media and entertainment sector rank third in the most alcohol addiction prone careers. This came as a surprise because, prior to this study, it had been widely believed that these types of jobs came with the most risk for destructive behavioral patterns. According to this study, it was the food and beverage industry leading the way for developing alcoholism. Following this sector was construction, entertainment, sports and arts, sales, repair, farming and fishing, transportation, cleaning, personal care and administration.
It’s important to note that this study took place over a two year period and all the indicated professions had one primary common factor; that being, there is typically no drug testing. Furthermore, when discussed with working professionals, those who used alcohol and/or drugs stated they were not likely to work for a company which implemented any sort of testing.
Health Care Services At Risk for Alcoholism
Although the aforementioned indicated a high risk of alcohol abuse in the workplace, there are additional sectors that are also at risk, but lie under the radar. Doctors, nurses, 911 operators, police, firefighters and ambulance personal have intense, high stress jobs which come face to face with traumatic situations on a frequent basis. To cope with this, it is not uncommon for these people to turn to alcohol or prescription medications. This group is also prone to develop PTSD, which if left undiagnosed and untreated, there is a high risk of dependency, depression and even suicide.
Signs of an Addiction to Alcohol
Some of these affected people, especially in the health care services sector, may be in denial. Being able to understand and recognize the signs of an addiction to alcohol is important. They may include:
- Lying or hiding your drinking
- Drinking to relax, feel better or cope with a situation
- Blacking out or losing memory after drinking
- Unable to quit drinking once started
- Consuming alcohol in dangerous situations
- Neglecting responsibilities
- Having relationship or financial troubles
- Consistently being able to drink more and more
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
- Trying to quit, but cannot
- Lowered immune system and/or frequently sick
- Dry skin, brittle nails and hair loss
- Enlarged belly and/or red nose
Even if you or a loved one does not experience any of the above, it does not necessarily mean there is not a problem. In fact, many working professionals are considered binge or closet drinkers. It is well known that these people do a very good job at hiding their addiction because in a sense, they have to.
Getting Help at an Alcohol Rehab Before its Too Late
If you or someone you know has an addiction to alcohol and is ready to take time away from work and get the help necessary to redeem your life, your career and your relationships, consider a rehab center in Thailand.
Serenity Chiang Mai is a leading alcohol addiction facility situated in the picturesque mountains of Chiang Rai, Thailand. Boasting a small client load at any given time, certified Western trained staff, and an integrated 12 step treatment program, men and women will be able to heal the body and mind; thereby reach a point of long term recovery and sobriety.
Contact Serenity Chiang Rai today to find out how we can help you or a loved one.