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Alcoholism in the Workplace

For chronic alcoholics, alcohol abuse permeates every aspect of their lives. From home life in Fresno, California to social and even work life situations, alcoholism can take a significant toll on its victims’ everyday existence.

Drug and alcohol rehab centers can help ameliorate these symptoms. However, without help, most alcoholics will continue to damage themselves and the people around them.

Alcoholism in the workplace can be especially damaging, not only for the alcoholic individual himself but the nation as a whole. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol abuse in the United States comes with a hefty price tag. Loss of workplace productivity due to alcohol-related factors—typically hangovers and sleepy, distracted states of mind—cost the U.S. economy approximately $250 billion in 2010.

Alcoholism in the workplace is about as tried a tradition as wearing a suit to the office in Fresno, but chronic alcohol abuse can result in a number of different problems, such as tardiness, low morale and a general loss of workplace efficiency. A higher incidence of alcoholism in the workplace is also associated with higher turnover rates, a need for more disciplinary procedures and poor decision-making.

Specific productivity issues include inconsistent performance, procrastination, more frequent mistakes, forgetting details and an overall poorer quality of work. Persons most at risk for workplace alcoholism include young, male workers aged 18-29 and those employed in positions of manual labor such as manufacturing, construction and mining.

What can employers do to combat alcohol abuse in the workplace? Besides referring employees to local Fresno-area alcohol rehab centers, employers can implement programs that focus on overall health and fitness and actively discourage alcohol abuse. Employers can also establish an Employee Assistance Program to actively combat drug and alcohol problems in the workplace.

Alcoholism is detrimental both to individual workers and the company as a whole. In order to minimize the adverse consequences of alcohol abuse in the workplace, alcoholic workers should inform their employers and enroll in rehab centers for proper treatment.