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Dealing with Drinking Culture at Work

group of coworkers celebrate with alcohol

While drinking on the job is generally frowned upon, many workplaces encourage alcohol use to unwind after a long day and build team morale.  Drinking culture in the workplace can range from a tradition of Friday-night happy hour, to the extreme of offices that offer beer on tap during work hours.  If you are passionate about your career, it can be difficult to turn down a chance to bond with the boss or network with clients over cocktails. Excessive alcohol use, however, can negatively impact your ability to perform your job while also being detrimental to your physical and mental health. If you work in an environment where your coworkers socialize primarily over drinks, it is easy to slip into habitual drinking as you try to form bonds with your colleagues and impress the boss.  This can be especially true for women who work in a mostly male environment and feel pressured to drink heavily in order to seem like “one of the guys”. Unfortunately, happy hour can easily turn into alcohol abuse, and an alcohol addiction can impede your ability to show up on time for work, think clearly, and make decisions.  Drinking does carry heavy social and cultural significance and can seem difficult to avoid during modern-day professional bonding rituals, but there are some strategies you can use to avoid the alcohol while remaining a part of the team. If you find yourself at parties or events with colleagues who are all ordering drinks, order a virgin cocktail such as a cranberry and soda with a lime.  The drink will look like a cocktail and nobody is likely to question it. If you believe your office could use some time away from the booze, propose a “dry” month challenge for your coworkers.  If heavy drinking is the norm in your workplace, it is likely that you are not the only one questioning your relationship with alcohol, and so taking a break may help others as well. If you believe you have developed a problem with alcohol due to a heavy drinking culture in your workplace or otherwise, the best way to address it is to seek professional help.

At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.