The Impact of Alcohol Use Disorder
Impact on the person, workplace, family, and society
People with alcohol use disorder must cope with problems caused by their drinking. These include problems with health, family, and work. Drinking can lead to fear and guilt, anger and insecurity. People with alcoholism are often in denial about all of this. This means they do not admit they have a problem with alcohol.
People with alcoholism have more accidents while at work. Their job performance may go down. And they are often absent or late. All this costs the company in lost time and medical care. It may also cost the company in property damage. Coworkers may need to fill in or cover up for a person with alcoholism. This can lead to anger.
Alcoholism also affects the whole family. Family members may feel alone, neglected, or abused. They may become angry or distrustful. They may also feel embarrassment, guilt, or fear. These feelings can lead to a lot of stress and upset in a family.
People with alcoholism are more often involved in traffic accidents. Other types of accidents and fires are also common. They more often abuse their children and spouses. And they are more likely to hurt or kill someone else or themselves. The human cost of these problems is huge. So is the financial cost. Alcoholism costs the U.S. billions of dollars every year. These costs are in the form of medical expenses and high insurance premiums. They are also in the form of property damage.
What you can do
If you are a coworker, family member, or friend, you can help. Start by learning more about alcoholism and its effects. Learn the warning signs. And reach out for support. If a person with alcoholism will not get help, you can still join a support group and gather resources. One of the best things you can do is to not be an enabler. That is, you can't make excuses for people who drink. This can help force them to take responsibility for their own actions.
Alcoholism affects not just the person who drinks. It also affects family and friendships. It affects the workplace and schools. And it affects the community.