How to spot alcohol dependency among your employees
 
According to Alcohol Change UK, more than half a million people are dependent drinkers, but less than 20% are receiving treatment. As an employer, it’s highly likely that alcohol dependence will affect some of your employees. 
 
As your employees are your most valuable asset, we want to keep them in work and healthy. Therefore it’s important that line managers are aware of some of the warning signs of alcohol dependency, in order to get your employees the right support.
 
Here are some of the symptoms:
- A loss of interest in activities or hobbies
- Appearing tired or ill more frequently
- Becoming easily irritable
- Becoming overly secretive or dishonest 
- Appearing intoxicated more regularly 
- Drinking more to achieve the same effect 
- Being unable to say no to a drink
- Mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression can be linked 
 
If you suspect that an employee may be suffering from alcohol dependency in silence, you should approach with care. As an employer, you should let your employee know that you are concerned and signpost them to support options available. 
 
What next?

Signposting your employees to any or all of the below:

  1. Occupational health – they can manage the employee’s referral to relevant support and specialists 
  2. Alcohol charities, such as Drink Aware or Alcohol Change UK 
  3. Local facilities or groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous 

By intervening early, you can help your employees receive the right care and support, helping to keep them in work and healthy. 

 
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