If you have developed a drinking habit, you may not view it as problematic if you usually only drink at night in the comfort of your home. However, alcohol use can spill over into your work life and cause your on-the-job performance to suffer. Here are some effects you can expect to experience if you have an alcohol use disorder, and how they might cause you problems at work.
Deterioration of Health
Alcohol addiction exacts many tolls, but perhaps the heaviest is your physical and mental well-being. Many problem drinkers experience disrupted sleep schedules due to their alcohol use, thanks to the way alcohol affects your brain patterns and circadian rhythms. If you have ever found yourself struggling through the workday because of fatigue, it’s likely because you didn’t get enough deep, high-quality sleep to replenish your mind and body. Over time, you may even develop a condition known as sleep debt.
If you have mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, you may have initially turned to drinking as a misguided coping mechanism for silencing those turbulent emotions. However, alcohol makes mental health issues more severe, and if you are taking antidepressants, it can cause them to work less effectively.
Other health concerns associated with long-term drinking include liver damage, malnutrition, the increased risk of specific cancers and even early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
If you consistently drink so much that you often wake up with a hangover, forcing you to call in sick, your co-workers will eventually notice how many days of work you’re missing. Even if you don’t call in and decide to try to tough it out, you will likely find the fog of your hangover affecting your ability to concentrate, relate to co-workers and make good decisions, which will lower the quality of your overall work output.
Eventually, even if you have a good relationship with your employer, your hours of missed work, decreased ability to perform well on the job and irritability around your co-workers could put your livelihood on the line. Is alcohol use worth losing your job over?
How to Know When You Have a Drinking Problem
Occasionally having a beer at happy hour is not problematic and can even help you bond with work peers. However, if you check off any of the items on the list below, it may be an indication that your drinking has crossed the line from social to habitual, and that you need to seek help.
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
- Thinking about drinking at times when you are sober
- Unwillingness to stop drinking, even if it is causing problems in your professional or personal life
- Inability to quit drinking on your own, or drinking much more than you intended, leading to frequent blackouts and hangovers
- Feeling the need to drink more alcohol to achieve the desired effects
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit drinking on your own
Is It Time to Get Help for an Alcohol Addiction?
If you care about your career and your professional reputation, it’s essential to understand how problematic drinking can affect your on-the-job performance. Admitting you have an addiction and that you can’t solve your problems by yourself doesn’t make you a weak person – it means you are realistic.
Seeking treatment and committing to long-term sobriety can transform your life and your job performance. At Vista Taos Renewal Center, we have helped hundreds of adult men and women with addictions go on to live healthy, happy and fulfilling substance-free lifestyles. To learn more about how we can help you achieve freedom from alcohol addiction, contact us today.