For many, social drinking is something to look forward to after a hard week’s work with your peers. Going out for a few to the local pub can be enjoyable and serves as a way to bond with your colleagues, but it’s also dangerous; drinking culture is widespread in the UK, and it can enable alcoholism and addiction.
Alcoholism and alcohol misuse affect thousands of adults across the UK each year and is a prevalent issue in the workplace. If you’re concerned about your own drinking or would like to help another, that help best begins with informing yourself more on the nature of addiction and substance misuse.
So, when do you know to draw the line? How can social drinking lead to problems with dependency? Does it bleed into the workplace? Let’s take a closer look.
Understanding the Definition of Alcoholism
Alcoholism usually refers to full-blown physical dependency, which includes symptoms such as the ‘shakes’ when drink hasn’t been consumed – often in as little as a day. Severe alcoholics of this kind are what most think of when weighing their behaviour against the impact it has on their lives; a misunderstanding of problematic drinking that holds many back from being honest about their habits.
Most adults in the UK struggle to define what alcoholism is. Most of us drink recreationally throughout the week – often more than the government officially advises us to do so. The majority have no real apparent symptoms and manage careers, social circles and families with seemingly little issue. For others, the spiral of addiction begins with social drinking, which is in itself perpetuated in workplace culture.
The best thing you can do to define and understand your alcohol use is to ask yourself this: Could I stop for a week or month if I wanted to, and is my drinking negatively affecting my life and career? If you find yourself unable to say yes, particularly after trying to stop, you’ve got a problem that should be addressed decisively, such as by considering some form of alcohol rehab.
Is my drinking affecting my work?
If you’re concerned about how much you’re drinking, and the effect it is having on your career, it’s helpful to check your behaviour against these common warning signs of dependency and substance misuse.
I’m taking time off due to drink: Sometimes a hangover can be too much to handle at work. Its’ far from unheard of to call in sick after heavy drinking, but it is nevertheless a sign that your alcohol consumption has taken priority over work. If this pattern begins to repeat itself, you’ve got an issue you need to address decisively.
My quality of work is suffering: The deterioration of your qual