Alcohol Misuse

Definition - What does Alcohol Misuse mean?

Alcohol misuse is to consume alcohol at a rate that is more than the recognized recommended daily and weekly limit. In Canada, the government sets this recommended limit is set at 10 drinks per week for a woman, where the daily maximum for most days is 2 drinks, and for men it is set at 15 drinks per week, with a maximum daily limit of 3 drinks. A drink is defined as either 341ml of beer or cider, 142ml of wine or 43ml of distilled alcohol. Alcohol misuse has a wide-ranging impact for the employee and employer. It is important to note that for some individuals, alcohol use at a lower level than the recommended limits may pose a health and addiction risk.

WorkplaceTesting explains Alcohol Misuse

An employee that misuses alcohol is often ill or absent, exhibits poor work performance due to hangover effects and withdrawals, and has a lower work productivity rate. Psychological characteristics such as mood swings, anxiety, and depression are often attributed to alcohol misuse. The behavioral signs of an employee that misuses alcohol are memory loss, insomnia, missed appointments, absenteeism, poor hygiene, and errors in judgement. The impact on the workplace is an increased rate of injury or accidents, reduction in productivity, and increased conflict.

An employee who misuses alcohol often regularly exceeds the lower-risk daily limits. They are at higher risk of suffering from heart disease, stroke, liver cancer, and pancreatitis over the long term.

Alcohol misuse is often treated by counseling, medication, and/or detoxification.

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