Alcohol use: Weighing risks and benefits

Regardless of what career you have, there are steps you can take to monitor your after-work drinking. There are several drink counting apps to help you keep track of how much alcohol you’ve had. While there can be peer pressure to drink from your coworkers, it’s important to remember that drinking is not required. Opting to have some sparkling water or a soda can be viable alternatives. Further, your supervisor will likely appreciate a commitment to professionalism, even when with coworkers after hours.

risks of drinking after work

In a multisite survey of 6,540 employees, 81 percent were in favor of alcohol testing following a workplace accident, and 49 percent indicated support for random alcohol testing in the workplace (Howland et al. 1996). The programs described in this section primarily address the effects of off-the-job drinking and are designed to educate and aid employees. A considerably different employer attitude is found toward on-the-job drinking, which in most settings has been prohibited for many decades.

Inability to cope with stress

If that makes you grumble, consider that anxiety and other hangover symptoms aren’t the worst side effects of evenings spent getting drunk with colleagues. She told me she often receives questions from people who feel compelled to drink at work and don’t want to. One letter writer even worried about being too uptight after a higher-up cracked a beer during a job interview. Many EAPs include followup and relapse prevention to help employees maintain recovery. Only one research study, however, has systematically investigated the impact of such services.

  • They also tend to act more impulsively and have a reduced chance of considering their behavior’s consequences as sociological effects of alcohol.
  • Alcohol-related crime statistics show high rates of homicide, assault, domestic and stranger violence, child abuse, and rape and sexual abuse perpetrated by individuals who’ve been drinking and are legally intoxicated.
  • If your company plans to serve or allow alcohol at a company function, such as a holiday party or summer picnic, use caution.
  • But when drugs or alcohol affects how you do your job now, you don’t have that same protection.

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“Encouraging colleagues to think and talk about their relationship with alcohol within the workplace is a challenge we are now addressing. Colleagues were struggling alone due to the stigma that surrounds alcohol, which was impacting on their mental health and work productivity. However, if a person is binge drinking, their liver cannot keep up with the amount of alcohol in the body. As the blood is circulated, alcohol affects all organs and tissues in the body. Drinking or using drugs at work can cost you your job, but it doesn’t stop people from doing it. In a national survey, 15% of employed Americans said they work under the influence of alcohol and that their drinking impairs their work.

  • In most states, an employee will be disqualified from receiving workers’ compensation benefits if the employee’s own intoxication caused his or her injuries.
  • Alternatively, the Pro series of BACtrack, including the S80 Pro, Trace Pro, and Scout, are dependable devices for estimating the precise BAC level.
  • This apparent lack of demand for such research may suggest that attention to workplace AOD abuse through these mechanisms may be declining (Roman in press).
  • The information provided on this site is not legal
    advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or
    confidential relationship is or should be formed by use of the site.

When it’s apparent that you work under the influence, your job could be on the line. Perhaps most seriously, alcohol’s ability to lower inhibitions can set the stage for everything from inappropriate comments and microaggressions to sexual misconduct, and that’s no different when the company is paying the tab. Worrying about whether or not you’re drinking too much—or whether your nondrinking is being noticed or judged—puts additional pressure on workers who already have enough on their plate. For more information about alcohol’s effects on the body, please visit the Interactive Body feature on NIAAA’s College Drinking Prevention website.

HR Management & Compliance

Despite the widespread use of such programs, however, no data from a representative sample of EAPs are available to support the usefulness of these programs. A similar study by Kishchuk and colleagues (1994) tested a program designed to make employees’ drinking behaviors healthier and more socially responsible. Followup data collected 1 month later revealed modest impacts on attitudes and behavior. Another study evaluated a comprehensive approach to altering people’s drinking behavior as well as workplace culture in the 3M Company (Stoltzfus and Benson 1994).

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