April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a focused opportunity across America to increase awareness and understanding of alcoholism, its causes, effective treatment and recovery.
Alcohol is the most widely used drug in the United States. Excessive alcohol consumption is known to kill about 88,000 Americans annually. And it has a huge impact on our wallets.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, alcohol abuse costs our nation $25 billion each year in health care costs alone — and $224 billion overall. Over 70 percent of the estimated costs of alcohol abuse are due to lost productivity in the workplace. In addition, in federal surveys, over 8 percent of employed adult workers report they either abuse or are dependent on alcohol and 24 percent of workers report drinking during the workday at least once in the past year.
Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive disease, genetically predisposed and fatal, if untreated. However, people can and do recover. Estimates indicate that as many as 20 million individuals and family members are currently living lives in recovery.
How much is too much?
There are many reasons people drink alcohol — to socialize, celebrate and relax after a long, hard day. In fact, in moderation, red wine and other alcohols can actually provide some notable health benefits, including a boost for your heart. However, with heavy drinking any potential benefits are outweighed by greater risks. Heavy and binge drinkers open themselves up to:
- Accidents, injuries and death
- Jeopardy to personal safety
- Aggression and physical abuse
- Interpersonal relationship problems
- Poor performance at home and at work
- Financial and legal difficulties
- Physical and mental health problems
Research-based guidelines created by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, of the National Institutes of Health recommend the following consumption for healthy adults under 65 years old:
- Men: No more than 4 drinks on any day. Not to exceed 14 drinks in a week.
- Women: No more than 3 drinks on any day. Not to exceed seven drinks in a week.
For some people, such as those with certain medical conditions or those taking medications, it is not safe to drink any alcohol.
Your bottom line
Problem drinking, including alcoholism, can strike anyone, even your most valued employees. Alcohol costs carried by business are frequently hidden, showing up in more expensive emergency room visits and more missed work days. Alcohol problems reduce the productivity of workers and increase health care costs.
See the Healics Difference
At Healics, our certified wellness coaches work regularly with thousands of employees and spouses every year to help them identify patterns of risky drinking and develop plans to reduce or stop alcohol consumption, if needed. Through education, resources and support, we’re able to help people make real change in their behaviors. And we help employers just like you lower your healthcare-related costs and improve productivity due to alcohol-related absences or work loss.
Whether you are a company of two or 10,000, Healics can team with you to develop a wellness or coaching program that helps your employees achieve their goals, reduce their health risks and take the necessary steps to feel better and live longer. We’re nurse-owned and -operated, and will partner with you to create a wellness culture that helps to lower insurance claims, reduce health premiums — and most importantly — allows your employees to lead healthier, happier lives.
Want to give your employees the benefit of better health? Call us at 1-800-HEALICS today or contact us now.