It seems like an excuse someone might make to get out of work, but it’s true: a recent study has revealed that people considered “workaholics” may be more likely to become alcoholics, too.
Here’s what you should know about this research as an employer — and how your wellness and substance testing programs can address the issue in your workplace.
Workaholics = Alcoholics?
What Researchers Found
After analyzing data compiled on over 430,000 people worldwide, research supports the notion that working longer hours leads to riskier behaviors when it comes to substance use.
In the cross-sectional studies analyzed by researchers, workers who exceeded 40 hours per week were 11% more likely to engage in risky drinking behavior compared to their peers with 35-40 hour work weeks.
The other set of studies supported these findings — employees with longer work weeks were 12% more likely to be risky drinkers.
The study defined “risky drinking” as consuming over 14 drinks a week for women and 21 drinks a week for men. Past this threshold of alcohol consumption, individuals are prone to serious health conditions, heart disease, liver problems, cancer, and stroke among them.
If these facts aren’t enough to worry you, consider that health problems aren’t the only affect of increased drinking: riskier drinking habits also increase the chance that alcohol will impact the workplace. One of the surveys analyzed by researchers found that 33% of employees admitted to coming to work hung over; 15% admitted being drunk on the job!
Since many alcoholics under-report their drinking and the data studied was largely self-reported, there’s a chance that the correlation between working long hours and drinking riskily may be even stronger than the analysis indicates.
Prevent Alcoholism Among Your Employees
As an employer, this analysis highlights how important it is for you to lower stress for your employees and encourage a healthier work-life balance. You can achieve this through your workplace wellness program, as well as by designing sound HR policies and not overloading employees with projects.
You can also add an alcohol testing component to your workplace substance testing program to make sure that current employees haven’t turned to alcohol as a means of coping with workplace stress.
ARCpoint Labs nationwide can help you design and implement an alcohol testing program; some wellness-certified locations can even provide help with your workplace wellness program!
To get started, contact your nearest ARCpoint Labs today.