On average, people with an alcohol use disorder miss 32 days of work per year, compared to 18 days for those with mild alcohol use problems and 13 days for those without a disorder. Overall, workers with alcohol use disorders missed over 323 million work days annually. People skipping work due to a hangover or recovering from alcohol abuse-related injuries is extensively common. Today, with the rise of remote work, these numbers could rise exponentially, especially among those with an alcohol use disorder.
However, if you’re missing work due to hangovers, it’s time to retrospect the realities of your drinking problem.
1. You Can Start Falling Behind
People who engage in heavy drinking are more likely to fall behind on deadlines. Missing work due to a hangover also means missing deadlines and failing to meet responsibilities at work. Neglecting work and personal responsibilities for consuming alcohol or because you’re recovering from the effects of binge drinking is one of the early signs of an alcohol use disorder.
2. You Might Feel Disconnected from Co-Workers
People who develop drinking problems withdraw from coworkers. This is particularly evident among people who not only miss work due to a hangover but also have difficulty engaging in social situations that don’t involve drinking. Some people might also resort to isolation to hide their drinking patterns and destructive behaviors from others.
In addition, people with alcohol problems often develop behavioral patterns that can cause conflicts with bosses or coworkers. Some studies have found that at least 9.6% of men that engaged in weekly binge drinking or struggled with alcohol abuse and dependence experienced conflicts with their peers. Likewise, almost 12% of women reported conflict with a boss and/or a coworker.
3. You Could Risk Becoming a High-Functioning Addict
People who keep missing work due to drinking are more likely to become high-functioning addicts. A high-functioning addict is someone who engages in chronic drinking behaviors while being able to keep up with work and personal responsibilities. These individuals can meet work demands but spend most of the day drunk or under the influence of alcohol.
4. You Can Incur Financial Problems
Addiction and financial problems go hand in hand. Missing work or being laid off will affect an addict’s financial stability. Even if someone with an alcohol abuse problem can maintain employment, they’re more likely to face financial problems. People with an alcohol use disorder have healthcare costs twice as high as other employees. They might also deal with unforeseen expenses like legal fees for DUIs, arrests, and paying for injuries.
5. You Could Lose Your Job
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), over 9% of full-time employees engage in heavy drinking. The United States Department of Labor reports that alcohol abuse causes up to 65% of on-the-job accidents. In fact, almost 50% of workers’ compensation claims are related to the abuse of alcohol in the workplace.
Overall, weekly binge drinking increases a woman’s probability of being fired by 2.7%, and the same is true for 1.3% of men. Alcohol abuse is related to various employment opportunities. People with alcohol abuse often have employment difficulties and more difficulty finding reliable work.
Is Your Drinking Affecting Your Work-Life? Seek Help Now.
There are many ways to cut back on excessive drinking and get the support you need. Set small goals for yourself. Make lists of reasons why you want to quit drinking, as well as lists of reasons why it’s so hard for you. There are many ways to do this, but the most important thing is to seek professional help. You should talk with your doctor or health care provider about getting help if you have a problem with alcohol use. They will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that works for you.
You can also join a support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), where people who share similar experiences can support each other in recovery from their addiction. If you believe your drinking habits severely affect your lifestyle, consider speaking with an addiction counselor. They might suggest a rehab program that adapts to your lifestyle and needs to help you achieve long-lasting recovery.
It can be difficult to quit drinking or even cut back, but many resources are available to help you. If you keep missing work due to a hangover and binge drinking behaviors, seek professional help from doctors or counselors specializing in addiction treatment.