Five Things Employers Need to Know About Alcohol
A staggering 15 million adults have an alcohol use disorder (AUD) and one in four of all adults binge drink. These figures are of particular interest to business leaders, because three-quarters of binge drinkers work for a living. The epidemic of heavy drinking stretches across states and touches employees working in each and every industry.
Here are five things employers need to know about alcohol and its impact on the workforce:
Popular culture and inspiring stories of personal redemption create false perceptions of heavy drinking. Fortunately, the National Institutes of Health and medical community have moved beyond the imprecision of value-laden terms like “alcoholic” and created a concise description of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using.
High-risk drinking is responsible for $82 billion of lost workplace productivity annually. Yes, some regions or industries are more impacted than others, but don’t be mistaken: Heavy drinking is a problem everywhere, across every economic spectrum.
High risk drinking costs an additional $28 billion annually in healthcare spending, on top of the hit to productivity.
Heavy drinking is also a contributor to many of the other costliest chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, breast cancer and other cancers.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Until relatively recently, there was a dearth of quality alternatives. That’s now changing rapidly and Annum is proud to be among the leading innovators in this space. We offer a modern alternative to rehab for heavy drinking, with a particular focus on mild- to moderate AUD, where the vast majority of heavy drinkers fall and where fewest treatment options exist today. We partner with large employers who view heavy drinking as a workforce development issue, offering an initial assessment to 100% of their workforce and, if clinically indicated, evidence-based treatment.