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The Financial Toll of Alcoholism

Alcohol abuse comes with high personal costs but there is a cost to society as well. Smart Business debunked the idea that “people who abuse alcohol are easily identifiable as “bums,” or “losers,” and that they are unlikely to be employed.” Many people managed to hold down jobs despite alcoholism and at best they are slightly less productive; at worst their lack of sobriety can cause terrible damage.

Alcoholism affects people in all walks of life and once we reduce the stigma of alcoholism, we may do better at effectively addressing it and help people with addiction recovery.

Alcohol abuse affects all of us and while the emotional toll of alcoholism may be obvious, there is also a financial toll. Smart Business spoke with an insurance expert that quoted information from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse:

  • “Untreated cases of alcohol abuse costs businesses about $185 billion a year”
  • Alcohol abuse can cost one company about $7000 a year
  • Fifteen percent of the work force is affected by alcohol abuse (their own or someone else’s)

Sadly, a person who abuses alcohol may not really realize the effect addiction has on his or her work life nor how it may impair their co-workers’ ability to get work done. Caring management and concerned human resources departments may be able to step in before an employee takes a downward spiral or ends up losing his or her job. Of course an employee that is let go from a job because of issues that stem from alcohol abuse is going to suffer, but the company, that person’s co-workers, and the community as a whole will also lose out.

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