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Bringing Awareness to Alcohol Abuse in the Construction Industry

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Considered to be a drug, alcohol can change a person’s physical and emotional state as it slows down the body’s system and acts as a depressant. Though it may be a socially accepted drug and used as a recreational beverage, alcohol according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion can lead to increased risk of injury, violence, drowning, liver disease, and some types of cancer if consumed in excess.

Alcohol Abuse is Rarely an “At Home” Problem

Millions struggle with alcohol abuse, and while it might be viewed as a problem only at home, it can affect a person’s life in the community and at work. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found from 2008 to 2012 the construction industry had the second highest rate of heavy alcohol use. According to the nonprofit Facing Addiction, lost productivity and absenteeism can be attributed to substance abuse, while those who abuse alcohol are 270% more likely to be involved in an accident.

What Danella Does: Safety & Wellness

Slurred speech, dulled mental processing, the odor of alcohol on the breath, lack of coordination, and many other signs can help identify an employee who has consumed alcohol and may have an alcohol issue. At Danella, the safety of our employees is the number one priority. Therefore, our Safety Program is designed to identify any employee who shows these signs while on the job. If reasonable suspicion is a concern, employees are taken for an alcohol test to assess their Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) and determine the appropriate action based on the resulted.

Several actions may be taken depending on test results; however, along with the measures taken to ensure safety on the job sites, Danella offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP assists employees and their families with handling many aspects of their lives that they may have difficulty managing by themselves including alcohol abuse. Danella’s EAP, Health Advocate, is available to all employees and has licensed professional on staff to work with the individual to help identify things that may trigger excessive drinking. These counselors are available 24/7 and can be reached by phone at 866-799-2728 or online at HealthAdvocate.com/Danella. The process is confidential and can help individuals learn ways to overcome an excessive drinking habit.

What Individuals Can Do

Alcohol Awareness cannot be recognized only during April. As a society, we can work to bring awareness of alcohol abuse, by offering support and resources for those dealing with this form of addiction. Denial is a major issue between those that are experiencing it and from their loved ones. Taking the time and becoming comfortable enough to acknowledge the gravity of the situation is important so that friends or family members can encourage those addicted to make little changes. Little changes can help those fighting addiction live a better life in the long term. Reach out to a professional or an EAP to help. If you are addicted to alcohol, stopping without assistance may be extremely dangerous.