Dealing with Addiction in the Workplace
There are many who drink every night but flinch when they hear the word ‘alcoholic’. But ask them not to have a beer after work and they freak out.
Picture this: A once star performer is unexpectedly showing erratic behavior, lower job productivity, restlessness and unexplained absences. He is probably crumbling under the pressure of his responsibilities and may soon turn to alcohol or drugs to deal with his stress. What he doesn’t realise is that stress and addiction are related and that this could actually be a problem of substance misuse.
The infographic below not only details the addiction numbers in the UK but also gives you a quick overview of which professionals are most likely at risk of drug and alcohol abuse, the impact of alcohol and drug dependency at work , its symptoms but fails on providing much light on what you should do if you suspect your colleague may have a problem.
However, after going over the entire data which is vividly explained through a three-colour combination, the one big take away is that alcohol misuse is the biggest addiction problem in UK with over 2.9 million people termed as harmful drinkers while another 1.6mn dependent on booze. Little wonder that a survey conducted by the National Statistics on a community of 100,000 people revealed that every 500 out of 100,000 people are dependent on either alcohol or some type of drug.
The second takeaway is the gender perspective which is demonstrated by a simple bar graph: the number of men dependent on alcohol is more than double that of women.
As the infographic details, more than 2 million people in the UK are addicted to some form of substance or activity and this kind of substance abuse leads to employees skipping work more often. Infact it estimates that a whopping 14 billion days are lost due to poor productivity and absenteeism. And the financial toll this takes on the workforce? A staggering 6.4 billion pounds per annum.
And if you thought the monetary cost was worrisome, lack of productivity has caused many businesses to lag. The infographic shows that lawyers ( at least 15-24%) suffer the most from alcoholism, followed by those in the mining and construction sectors. Hospitality, retail and leisure are still better off while at least 7 percent of doctors have been addicted to alcohol or drugs or both.
Clearly stress is the biggest reason for substance abuse, which also leads to many health problems. Insight into costs related to lost productivity and increased health care needs is something to ponder about. The infographic shows that 15% of UK employees have been drunk at work while 200,000 have gone to work with a hangover, and an estimated 1 million work with drugs in their system, which includes cannabis, cocaine and opiates. While the data is a bit overwhelming, what strikes you the most is how employers are affected directly if any of their employees develops an addiction. For instance, at least 60% of the employers have had problems due to staff drinking while a quarter of office accidents are drink related.
The substance abuse signs too are easy to spot. The employee may have changed from a , punctual and efficient worker to someone who is late for work, has neglected his appearance and personal hygiene and is displaying erratic or unacceptable levels of behaviour.
Infographic brought to you by clinical-partners.co.uk