The potential impact of alcohol and drug misuse on the workplace is enormous. The cost to industry of illegal drug use is estimated at £800 million each year. Sixty per cent of employers reported problems due to alcohol misuse and 27 per cent reported problems due todrug misuse (Alcohol Concern/DrugScope, 2001b). Problems that can arise where employees are misusing substances can include:
- Poor performance and reduced productivity
- Increased staff turnover and loss of experienced staff
- Absenteeism: up to fourteen million working days are lost as a result of alcohol misuse, amounting to about three to five per cent of all absence
- Under-performance; – an employee may be at work but under-performing due to alcohol or drug use at lunchtime, breaks or the previous night.
- Increase in complaints, damage to organisation’s reputation and image
- Accidents: alcohol contributes to an estimated 20-25 per cent of workplace accidents
- Stress and low morale
- Workplace bullying
- Theft by employees
- Health problems
(Source: Alcohol Concern/DrugScope, 2001a)
Many of us have little understanding of addiction and because of this we can actually enable those with the condition to go on for years before they are forced to admit their problem and seek help. There are case studies recorded of alcoholics who have spent years taking long absences form work, yo-yoing from hard drinking and suffering the symptoms of that, and then attempting, without much success to get a grip on their lives and attempt to either stop drinking or control their drinking. Often this causes poor morale in the workplace amongst other hard working employees and creates huge cost to the employer.
Let us be clear on this matter, an alcoholic cannot control his/her drinking; there would not be an alcoholic on the face of the planet if an alcoholic could control their drinking. An alcoholic cannot guarantee that when he starts to drink, he will have control over his intake. He doesn’t know whether he will possess the power to have one drink or continue drinking for days, weeks, months or years. Employers who do not understand the condition can enable an alcoholic to continue in their addiction for years and the situation is similar in terms of drug use.
Addiction Solutions offers a package to employers which will benefit the company and the addict, whether they are dependent on alcohol or drugs.
Our Counsellors also counsell individuals who are either referred to us by GP’s, friends or relatives, or come to us directly. This is an entirely discreet service and confidentiality is one of our principle priorities.