Over 19 million in the U.S. suffer from alcohol effects while at work

According to an American study as many as 15 percent of the U.S. workforce consumes alcohol on the job, has a drink before going to work or is under the influence of alcohol while at work.

The study by the University of Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions say that equates to some 19.2 million workers affected during the workday by alcohol; either intoxicated, in withdrawal or with a hangover.

Doctor Michael Frone, the principal investigator of the study says policies should be in place regarding alcohol impairment and impairment at work, but managers still report elevated rates of consuming alcohol during the workday, people working under the influence of alcohol, and working with a hangover.

According to the Institute the study is the first one on alcohol in the workplace to use a representative sample of the U.S. workforce.

The researchers surveyed 2,805 employed adults across the United States from January 2002 through June 2003.

The results showed that young, single men figured prominently among those who were affected by alcohol.

It was found that drinking on the job, being under the influence or working with a hangover was more prevalent among men than women, more common among younger workers than older staff, and among unmarried workers than married workers.

The most common finding was going into work with a hangover, and the highest levels of alcohol use and impairment were in management, sales, catering and construction.

Doctor Frone says the misuse of alcohol by employed adults is an important social policy issue with the potential to undermine employee productivity and safety.

He says alcohol is the most widely used and misused substance in the general population and the workforce.

The Institute says that 10.8 percent admitted they either drank at work, before work or turned up with a hangover but that it happened less than once a month, while 2.9 percent said it was a monthly occurrence and 1.65 percent said weekly.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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