Finding The Right Resources: How To Address High Functioning Alcoholism In The Workplace

When you’re dealing with high functioning alcoholism in the workplace, it’s essential to understand the steps required to address this issue effectively. High functioning alcoholism is a challenge that is often misunderstood and ignored due to the individual’s ability to maintain their work and personal responsibilities despite their alcohol dependency.

  • Your first step is to recognise the signs of high functioning alcoholism. You might notice that a colleague frequently discusses drinking, uses alcohol as a reward or stress reliever, often has alcohol on their breath, experiences mood swings, or often calls in sick after social events.
  • It’s essential to handle the situation delicately. If you’re in a management position, it’s your responsibility to approach the individual privately and discuss your concerns about their well-being, rather than their performance. Avoid being judgmental and express your concerns from a place of care and support.
  • Understand the resources available for support. Familiarise yourself with your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if available, which may offer counselling services. Local resources in Johannesburg, such as South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), provide helplines for those struggling with addiction.
  • Encouraging the individual to seek professional help. There are numerous addiction treatment centres in and around Johannesburg, such as Houghton House, which provide comprehensive programs tailored to high functioning alcoholics.

Lastly, foster an environment that supports recovery. This could include flexible work hours, regular check-ins, and a supportive, non-judgemental work environment.

Now, let’s address some FAQs:

  1. What is high functioning alcoholism? High functioning alcoholism refers to individuals who maintain their work, personal life, and social activities despite having a dependence on alcohol. They often hide their drinking habits or downplay their dependency.
  2. Is high functioning alcoholism a real problem? Yes, even though high functioning alcoholics might appear to have everything under control, they still risk severe health problems, relationship troubles, and work-related issues. Alcoholism, whether high functioning or not, is a serious health concern.
  3. Are high functioning alcoholics in denial? Often, high functioning alcoholics are in denial about their problem, as their success in other areas of life can make them believe they don’t have an issue with alcohol.
  4. Can high functioning alcoholics recover? Absolutely. With the right support and treatment plan, high functioning alcoholics can achieve a successful recovery.
  5. Where can I find resources in Johannesburg for alcoholism? Local resources include Alcoholics Anonymous South Africa, SADAG, and various treatment centres like Houghton House.

Remember, misconceptions about high functioning alcoholism often stem from the belief that because the individual is successful, they can’t possibly have an alcohol problem. However, it’s crucial to understand that alcoholism isn’t determined by external success but by the dependency on alcohol. As a colleague or employer, it’s important to approach the situation with understanding and support, ensuring the individual gets the help they need.

When it comes to finding the right resources to address high functioning alcoholism in the workplace, there have been several recent developments that can aid in this process. Staying up-to-date with these developments can help you navigate this complex issue more effectively.

  1. Online Support and Teletherapy: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of virtual platforms for support and therapy. Many addiction treatment centers now offer online programs and teletherapy sessions, making it more convenient and accessible for individuals seeking help. This can be especially beneficial in the workplace setting, where privacy and flexibility are essential.
  2. Mental Health and Substance Abuse Programs: Employers are increasingly recognizing the importance of supporting their employees’ mental health and addressing substance abuse concerns. Many companies now offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that include specific resources for addiction and mental health. These programs can provide confidential counseling, referrals to treatment centers, and ongoing support for employees struggling with high functioning alcoholism.
  3. Workplace Wellness Initiatives: Organizations are placing a greater emphasis on promoting overall employee well-being. Workplace wellness initiatives now often include education and awareness campaigns on substance abuse, mental health, and the importance of seeking help. These initiatives aim to reduce the stigma associated with addiction and create a supportive environment for those in need.
  4. Training and Education for Managers: Many companies are investing in training programs to equip managers with the knowledge and skills necessary to identify signs of high functioning alcoholism and respond appropriately. This training helps managers approach the issue with empathy, provide support, and connect employees with the necessary resources.
  5. Integration of Technology: Advancements in technology have led to the development of innovative tools to support addiction recovery. Mobile applications and wearable devices can track sobriety milestones, provide motivational messages, and offer access to virtual support groups. These technological advancements can supplement traditional treatment approaches and offer ongoing support to individuals in recovery.

Staying informed about these latest developments can empower you to address high functioning alcoholism in the workplace more effectively. Remember, it’s essential to approach this issue with compassion, confidentiality, and a commitment to creating a supportive environment for those seeking help. By utilizing these resources, you can contribute to a healthier, more productive workplace for everyone involved.