Campaigners are claiming that professionals are up to four times more likely to develop drinking problems than the unemployed or “blue collar” workers. Alcohol Concern Cymru (ACC) is targeting white-collar workers at the start of this year’s alcohol awareness week, which is run annually in the run-up to Christmas.
ACC claims that medical workers are three times more likely than the general population to develop alcohol dependency issues. A group representing pub landlords have countered these claims by saying that problems are not helped by the cheap alcohol on sale in supermarkets.
According to ACC, people working in law are the most at risk with 24% expecting to experience drink-related problems during the course of their careers. Andrew Misell of ACC said
“There are a lot of stereotypes out there about what sort of people get into difficulties with alcohol. People often think of street drinkers or young people out in town on a Saturday night. The reality is that the professional working environment can also be full of pitfalls when it comes to alcohol.
“The recession has meant more pressure at work for many, with tighter deadlines, fewer resources and increased workloads, making a drink seem like the perfect way to unwind after a busy day at the office. But one or two drinks can often lead to having a few more, and people may not realise how this stacks up throughout the week.”
As well as pressures at work, ACC says many other factors can contribute to the drinking problems of professionals including
- A culture of alcohol at the workplace
- Having the financial means to drink too much
- A sense that as professionals they are “not the type” to develop a drinking problem
- Fear of the personal and professional issues that will arise from admitting they have a problem and asking for help
- A “vicious circle” effect where fatigue and hangovers from the night before make work periods even more stressful, increasing the desire to drink more
Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of the British Medical Association’s science and ethics group, said
“There certainly is an issue with the hidden drinking of very many professionals. Often it goes undiagnosed until it’s too late; whether that be from a professional or health stand-point. The good news is that whilst white-collar workers can be more susceptible to alcohol-related problems, when they seek the help they also respond extremely well to treatment.”
“People need to be honest with themselves, work-places need to create a supportive environment where staff feel they can ask for help without fear of prejudice, and there needs to be more readily-available access to the appropriate services.”
Just because someone is not exhibiting obvious signs of alcoholism does not mean that all is well – many of the symptoms of alcohol abuse can be subtle or even appear at first glance to be positive influences on a person’s life, for instance they could seem more relaxed or laid back in their attitudes which can be a good thing…until relaxation turns into apathy and problems start to arise.
If you have concerns about anyone you know who may be suffering from alcohol abuse, even if they are not exhibiting any of the more obvious and well-known signs, give Rehab Recovery a call today on 0800 088 66 86 to find out about London alcohol help that can save someone from themselves before it is too late.