Quit drinking NOW!
An omnipresent devil
Alcohol is the most widespread substances of abuse. Like all psychological problems, alcoholism (now better known as alcohol dependence) is characterized by its own distinct disease pathophysiology. While employee health is a matter of concern to organizations, it is a well recognized fact that hypertension, obesity, heart conditions and other physical health issues get their due share but issues of psychological origin get neglected.
Who drinks and why
Alcohol related problems are seen in all classes of employees. Data indicates a genetic linkage in chronic alcohol consumption. A hereditary defect in the dopamine (D2) receptor gene may contribute to impaired reward mechanism in the brain, which make the individual crave for alcohol. At a psychodynamic level, alcohol consumption is understood as a way of dealing with unconscious conflicts, anxiety, stress, and psychic pain. Labor oriented organizations have employees of the working class with higher incidence of these troubles.
Today societal consumption of alcohol is accepted and is a commonality in most countries. Cultural factors can play a significant role in promoting the use, abuse and dependence in vulnerable individuals. Publicity is rampant about the cardiovascular beneficial effects of alcohol and its ability to lower risk of cardiac illness; however these suggestions are untrue.
The vicious cycle
Prolonged use of alcohol alters the neurotransmitters, rendering the human brain dependent on it. It affects concentration and attention, even after the effects have worn off. Prolonged cognitive, information processing mechanics and creativity all get impacted negatively. Restlessness, anxiety, tremors, a panic like state of irritability, anger and frustration can develop. Alcohol decreases confidence and self-esteem. Over the years subtle personality changes occur. Each of these may reflect in work performance.
More complicated than we realize
Alcohol dependence subtypes are based on consumption pattern. Some people drink due to loneliness, while others for company; some to release stress while many to curb aggression. Binge drinking explains impulsivity while daily drinking reveals physical dependence.
MINDFRAMES: Reframing dependence
Drinking amounts to wasted time off work (because it can impact and diminish work performance). We offer group awareness and individualized programs to enhance awareness to manage the mammoth problem of drinking. A problem with a mix of biological, psychological and social etiology deserves a similar management strategy. We offer medical and psychological management for alcohol dependence and see at the problem holistically to find appropriate and long-lasting solutions for the problematic drinker and coping strategies for assuring abstinence.