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Is Alcoholism Inhibiting You From Building Healthy Relationships at Work?

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Alcohol is a very normalized substance in current culture. Going out to get a beer with your co-workers or enjoying a drink with dinner is very common. As a result, it can be hard to tell if your drinking has become a problem. However, if you are struggling with alcoholism, this can create chaos and ruin both your professional and personal relationships. While can seem difficult, seeking alcoholism treatment can help you improve your life in many ways including building healthy relationships at work.

What Is Alcoholism?

Also called alcohol use disorder (AUD), alcoholism is a medical condition. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains that AUD is defined as the inability to stop drinking alcohol regardless of negative consequences in your life. If you struggle with alcoholism, one or multiple of the following might apply to you:

  • Drinking more or longer than you intended
  • Trying to stop or cut down drinking and being unable to do so
  • Spending a lot of time drinking
  • Being unable to stop thinking about getting a drink
  • Observing that drinking interfering with your life at home or work
  • Adjusting your life to be able to drink more often
  • Getting into dangerous situations because of your drinking
  • Feeling withdrawal symptoms like restlessness, nauseated, or sleep disturbances when not drinking

Your experience with alcoholism is unique. Therefore, you may recognize one or many of these symptoms. If you are uncertain whether you are struggling with AUD, that is okay. Speaking with a mental health care professional can help you learn more about AUD and what treatment would look like for you if you pursued it.

The Impact of Alcoholism at Work

As a working professional, you likely are around alcohol in many parts of your life. Holiday parties, networking events, or socializing with co-workers all tend to have alcohol as part of the equation. When drinking is not problematic, it rarely interferes with your work. However, alcoholism is very different than social drinking and can cause many issues in your professional life.

Alcohol, like many other substances, is very impactful on your brain. It can both produce feelings of pleasure and block out any negative feelings you may be having. As a result, you may find yourself reaching for alcohol as a way to feel better and affect your mood. However, this is not a long-term solution for stress or negative feelings. The National Institute on Alcohol Use and Alcoholism explains that while alcohol has a positive effect on mood in the short term, it creates an increase in long-term issues with how you feel.

Over time, as you build a physical and emotional dependency on alcohol, your life begins to be focused on drinking. This is highly impactful on your work in multiple ways. Uncontrollably thinking about and planning for drinking disrupts your work by interrupting your focus and inhibiting you from being effective at your job. Additionally, withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, sleep disruptions, and physical illness will further create issues in your ability to perform at work.

Effects on Professional Relationships

As we’ve been discussing, alcoholism impacts your professional life in many ways. However, one of the more profound ways is how it impacts your professional relationships. There are many reasons professional relationships are important with both your co-workers and boss. These relationships are not just niceties, but a vital part of your success as a professional. Having positive professional relationships will help you to get promotions, complete projects, and to thrive at work.

However, alcoholism can create extensive issues in these relationships. When you are struggling with alcoholism, your behavior changes. You become more focused on drinking due to the changes in your brain. This pulls you away from completing work tasks that your co-workers are depending on. While it may go unnoticed at first, over time it will become clear to your boss and others that you are not focused and effective at your job.

Alcoholism generally includes other behavioral changes that impact your professional relationships. For example, once you are physically dependent on alcohol you will experience withdrawal symptoms that make you feel agitated, angry, and short-tempered. As you know, working as a professional has many small annoyances. However, with the shift in mood, these become more challenging to manage. When you are short-tempered and agitated, your professional relationships will be negatively affected.

Getting Help

There are many reasons why getting addiction treatment is vital for working professionals. If you are struggling with alcoholism as a working professional, your relationships in the workplace are likely strained. By seeking treatment, you can heal from addiction and build new coping skills that will help you to have healthy and effective relationships at work. As you heal, you will be more capable of working with co-workers on projects and having a community at work that is not only effective but enjoyable for you and those around you.

Alcoholism is a disease that impacts working professionals in the workplace. Specifically, when untreated, alcoholism inhibits you from building healthy relationships with coworkers. As a working professional, these relationships are important in your professional life and make your days more enjoyable. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we understand that alcoholism creates many issues for working professionals. Our treatment programs can help you to heal from addiction. At the same time, you’ll be building skills that not only help you remain sober but also improve your ability to thrive in your community at work. We offer individualized treatment plans that will help you discover long-term recovery. To learn more about our treatment programs call (949) 426-7962 today. 


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