After a long day at work, there’s nothing quite like a drink to take the edge off. For some, though, alcohol consumptions turns into an addiction. With alcohol being the most abused substance in America at 86 million addictions, the odds of someone being a functioning alcoholic in your workplace are high.
So, how can you tell when a coworker or employee is addicted to the sauce? It isn’t always easy, but there are a number of warning signs to look out for. Here’s everything you need to know.
Drinking Whenever Possible
One possible warning sing of a functioning alcoholic is that they drink whenever possible. That means they’re always down to grab a drink after work, drink up at office parties, and always have a drink at social outings. One or two drinks is no big deal, but alcoholics will put down more glasses than anyone else.
Alcohol alters the brain, but alcoholics often change personalities after a few drinks. They might become flirtatious, mean, withdrawn, or a combination of all three that changes throughout the night. While these behaviors can be off-putting, and alcoholic might not even know what they’re doing.
A functioning alcoholic does all they can to keep the façade of normalcy going. However, they’re bound to slip up eventually. They might forget about work duties, fail to relay information, or miss deadlines.
Small mistakes are also common and often repeated. An alcoholic might forget to close the breakroom microwave or fridge on a regular basis, for instance. These mess-ups translate into other areas of their life, as well. While you may not be able to see it at work, they could already be hiring a defense attorney for a 2nd DUI.
Distancing and Grumpiness
An alcoholic might see their relationships at work and elsewhere become strained. Their friendships with coworkers fall apart, often because of their belligerence when drunk. They may also see their relationships fail from grumpiness or having a short temper. A
Everyone misses work sometimes, but the functioning alcoholic has more sick days than most. They’re also likely to be late for meetings. On the flipside, they may leave work and other work-related obligations early to get a few drinks in at the bar before everyone else gets there.
This is a tricky warning signs to identify since the most common excuse for absence is a family emergency. That could be true or it could be a way to cover alcoholism. As an employer, making a decision to fire the employee without all of the facts could cause you to get a call from legal representation, like these Los Angeles wrongful termination attorneys.
While a functioning alcoholic can keep it together most of the time, their personal life is often off the rails. They come home late after drinks, miss family functions, and shrug responsibilities. As their personal life is affected, these actions bleed over into their work performance. Hangovers and alcohol use on the job impair their cognitive function as job duties become near impossible to complete.