Alcoholism at Work: Problem and Solution

Background

The failure to cope with the environment can be disadvantageous to a person’s psychological, moral, and physical health and under the parameters of this topic, workplace responsibilities. Alcoholism led problem leads to incapability of a person while dealing with his profession and the decisions born thereof. The study tries to establish which factors may result in alcoholism in a person at workplace and the possible recommendation to negate such issue as the Alcoholism created thereof reduce the productivity of a person.

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It has been observed that one out of 20 people has difficulty going through a whole day without a drink. Twice the figure regularly taking illegal drugs is addicted to alcohol. Women drink far less than men but suffer from serious consequences arising from intoxication due to higher concentrations of alcohol. Alcoholism-related issues in workplaces are complex and intricate problems. Government report initiated by the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit shows that Britain’s huge problem with Alcoholism is costing the exchequer close to 20 million pounds a year. Over 15 million workdays are lost due to drink-related problems like hangovers or even more serious symptoms. In the US, the Home Office plans to implement legislation on changed pub opening hours. This would discourage a single closing time and help avoid disruptive behavior. (Rush, 1119-1128)

It can be stated that alcoholism does not vary significantly between male and female workers but it varies significantly between people with various levels of self-concept. Furthermore, alcoholism varies significantly with the occupational status of workers. It would be prudent to explain the terms aforementioned and the variables attached. Occupational status is a sub-class of socio-economic status and is a key tool to establish the credibility of a person and the economic outcomes of his credentials that are the power to earn based on his educational attainment. Self-concept is the idea of a person regarding his own credentials. In other words it is analytical to self-esteem that is the worth a person attaches to his or her own knowledge, experience or faith in decision making. A person is the best judge of one’s own credentials. If a person is well equipped to carry out a certain responsibility he would have a higher self-concept and would suffer from low self-esteem if he/she is aware of their own lack of credentials and that is highly detrimental at workplace and alcoholism is the chief ramifying object in this case.

A proper representation of the demographic to be surveyed was chosen and 100 people from various levels of the workforce were selected which consisted of 51 women and 49 men. A questionnaire was developed which consisted of specific questions in two sections. The first section comprised demographic questions and the second part had 15 questions related to the second hypothesis and 15 on the third hypothesis. The Likert scale for measuring responses was used and ranged from 1 to 5. The cumulative score was then added together to derive the composite score denoting the effect of self-concept on stress. Both face and content validity was used to determine the validity of the research and the student test re-test procedure was used to calculate the coefficient of reliability. (Sims, 223)

Job stress is also a fundamental aspect of alcoholism at workplace. Stress also appears to be affected by age and experience. In comparing stress and job satisfaction of older workers with that of younger workers, older workers with more years experience showed less stress and reported more positive experiences as a nurse than their younger counterparts. Younger workers who reported concerns over compensation, workload, and lack of recognition speculated that older workers had less reason to be worried about income than their younger counterparts because the older workers were paid more. It is also speculated that the expectations and goals of the workers had become more realistic as they matured, resulting in greater job satisfaction. But before that is achieved, alcoholism creeps in and makes the situation even worse.

Scientists and researchers think that alcoholisms are a long-term illness and a person’s dependence on drugs and alcohol is due to problems like diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma. A person who has developed alcoholism can become dangerous and even compulsive at times. Alcoholism can affect everyone and anyone. Its causes are not yet properly known although it is said that genetics can be a cause for a person developing it. An individual’s psychological trait, the amount of stress he or she goes through and the environment play a major role in their life. A person dealing with these become highly dependent on certain substances and some changes occur in their brain. This is when they develop alcoholism and it is extremely difficult to handle in the workplace. (Swanson, 473-475)

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

When the matter of alcoholism at workplace is considered, special concerns dealing with our ethics come into play keeping the matter of providing assistance and other services to the people in our minds. Individuals should know whether a person has this disorder or not so that they can take proper actions about it. There are two main factors concerning alcoholism-related disorders, which highlight the issue of ethics when we think about workplace environment. The first is that the people who suffer from alcoholism are not always willing to admit their behavior. Some of them are not able to do so. Secondly, alcoholism creates a negative impact on not only an individual but also people who are significant to them in workplace and even society. The sufferers are often prodded, coerced and even poked at making them examine themselves and obtain proper treatment based on the assessment made. (Koocher, 231)

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To mandate treatment of alcoholism in our workplace, we need to keep certain things in mind. We should completely understand the circumstances leading to the contract of the treatment and how it will influence the relationship shared by the doctor and his patient. The clients sometimes succumb under the pressure of the treatment and anger and hatred towards their doctors start to build up in them. The doctors should understand that the clients are under tremendous pressure and handle them effectively. There should not be any conflicts among the interests of the doctors. They should be aware of their thoughts and take care of the client’s needs. They should be able to face the circumstances and realities faced by their clients in their daily life and consider their opinion. They should also listen to the patient’s view about the personal mental health and how it is affecting life. This helps to devise a better treatment program for the patients. (Sims, 118)

The doctors also need to determine whether the patients have volunteered for the treatment or have been forced into it, as they are afraid of losing their job or having to pay official penalties. If they have been forced to volunteer, they may not be ready for the treatment. The various policies of the treatment offered should be properly checked to determine that the restrictions made on the clients are unnecessary or not and do not curb the liberties of a person. The focus of the programs and that of the doctors should be on the needs of the clients so that they are provided with a proper and effective treatment. When the treatment of alcoholism is mandated, the issues regarding ethics, which arises from it, are rather complex and thus, the clients need to obtain proper counseling for it. Their associates can offer guidance to them and the clients need to come out with their problems. The guidelines and principles that the clients need to follow should as given by well-known professionals who understand what they are dealing with. As they are experienced, they will be able to understand the client’s unstated needs too. If a client has been forced into obtaining treatment, he or she may be afraid of being disrespected by others. This might cause them to deny that they are suffering from substance abuse. Thus, it is up to the doctors to make the clients aware of the impact which their substance abuse is having on his or hers everyday life. (Swanson, 478-461)

As per the judicial system, it has been made mandatory for those patients who have been diagnosed with alcoholism to get proper treatment to cure their disease. However, we do not know a great deal about the characteristic features of this disease. The patients should also know about the perceptions involved with the treatment before taking it, differences among the pre-treatment characters and the treatment should be such that they are satisfied with it. The patients who have been mandated may have a minor and not very intense clinical profile at the beginning of the treatment. However, this does not explain their outcome, which has been observed to be better, and was present due to the same gains obtained from therapy by them during their treatment.

The perceptions of this treatment and the satisfaction obtained from it are enormous and more and more people are taking the treatment. Those who have been diagnosed with alcoholism have a huge opportunity to benefit from and access the treatment under the current judicial system. It is difficult to work with people suffering from alcoholism and thus we need to create a mandated treatment setting in our workplace. If colleagues have this illness, workforce cannot excuse them for having bad behavior towards us or any other person. Although it is known that it is not the person’s fault for developing the disease, it is his or her responsible for obtaining a proper treatment for it. Thus, it is better to use this form of treatment for the time being. It is also recommended that co-workers should work in a mandated treatment setting because no matter how difficult it is the fact remains that this process is workable and results are there as evidence. (Galanter, 176)

References

Galanter, Marc. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment. LA: American Psychiatric Pub, 2008.

Koocher, Gerald. Psychologists’ Desk Reference. NY: Oxford University Press US, 2008.

Rush, Brian. ‘Substance abuse treatment and pressures from the criminal justice system: data from a provincial client monitoring system’. Addiction, 98.8, (2008):1119-1128.

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Sims, Barbara. Substance Abuse Treatment with Correctional Clients: Practical Implications for Institutional and Community Settings. NY: Haworth Press, 2007.

Swanson, Jeffrey. ‘Effects of involuntary outpatient commitment on subjective quality of life in persons with severe mental illnesses. Behavioral Sciences & the Law 21.4, (2006): 473-491.

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