Back in the late 1940’s, early 1950’s the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) found that the workplace was ideally suited to address alcoholism through a focus on employee job performance and access to treatment. NCADD founded the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) concept as a joint labor-management program. NCADD wrote the first EAP Manual and the first EAP Standards. The earliest programs were called Occupational Alcoholism Programs and later evolved into what are now called, EAP’s.
Work can be an important and effective place to address alcoholism and other drug issues and by establishing or promoting programs. Without question, establishment of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is the most effective way to address alcohol and drug problems in the workplace, employees and their family members are provided referrals to community resources and services. Many individuals and families face a host of difficulties closely associated with problem drinking, and these problems quite often spill into the workplace. By encouraging and supporting treatment, employers can dramatically assist in reducing the negative impact of alcoholism in the workplace, while reducing their costs.
Research has demonstrated that alcohol treatment pays for itself in reduced healthcare costs that begin as soon as people begin treatment. Alcohol treatment also improves an individual’s functioning, leading to increased productivity at work.
FACT: Workplace-based, EAP programs have helped millions of individuals and family members effected by alcohol problems.
Some facts about alcohol in the workplace:
- Workers with alcohol problems were 2.7 times more likely than workers without drinking problems to have injury-related absences.
- A hospital emergency department study showed that 35 percent of patients with an occupational injury were at-risk drinkers.
- Breathalyzer tests detected alcohol in 16% of emergency room patients injured at work.
- Analyses of workplace fatalities showed that at least 11% of the victims had been drinking.
- Large federal surveys show that 24% of workers report drinking during the workday least once in the past year.
- One-fifth of workers and managers across a wide range of industries and company sizes report that a coworker’s on- or off-the-job drinking jeopardized their own productivity and safety.
|The above is an excerpt from the article “Alcohol and the Workplace.” For more info, please visit ncadd.org|