Alcohol Use Disorder in the Workplace: The High Costs and How Background Checks Can Help

Alcohol use disorder is a chronic and often debilitating disease that affects millions of people worldwide. The impact of alcoholism is not only felt by individuals and their families, but also by their employers who experience the impact of absenteeism, reduced productivity, and higher healthcare costs on the bottom line. In this article, we’ll explore how alcohol use disorder affects the workplace and how background checks can protect employers from the high costs of alcohol abuse.

Alcohol Use Disorder in the Workplace

Alcohol use disorder is a disease that causes a range of physical and mental health problems; it comes from a perpetual and habitual misuse of alcohol. In the workplace, individuals with alcohol addiction experience a variety of issues that impact their job performance including, but not limited to, high rates of absenteeism and tardiness, poor morale, impaired judgment, and overall decreases in productivity. Employees with alcoholism may also have a higher rate of workplace accidents, which endangers the safety of everyone involved.

The High Costs of Alcohol Abuse for Employers

Employers face a range of high costs associated with alcohol abuse in the workplace. These costs include high healthcare expenses, the impact of lost productivity, absenteeism, and accidents and injuries. Employees impaired by alcohol are expensive by every measure.

How Background Checks Protect Employers

Background checks are an essential tool for protecting employers from the high costs of alcohol abuse. By conducting a thorough background check for employment on all job candidates, employers are able to identify individuals who may have a history of alcohol abuse or other substance use disorders and then make informed hiring decisions that reduce the risk of hiring individuals who pose an unacceptably high risk for the organization.

Employers can also implement workplace policies and programs that promote a healthy work environment and support employees who may be struggling with alcoholism. These programs can include employee assistance programs, counseling services, and alcohol education and awareness programs. The combination of background checks prior to employment and support during employment help employers build and maintain strong, safe, work environments.

The Bottom Line

Alcohol use disorder is a serious, pervasive disease that has a significant impact on the workplace. Employers face a range of costs associated with alcoholism; conducting thorough background checks and implementing workplace policies and programs help employers protect themselves from these high costs and promote a healthy work environment.

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