April is Alcohol Awareness Month
There’s no shortage of jokes about turning to alcohol when times get tough, but it’s really no laughing matter, especially in construction. In early 2020, the construction industry had nearly twice the rate of substance abuse as other fields – and early evidence points to more drinking across the board as Americans cope with the stresses of the past year. Drinking may be more socially accepted than narcotics but can lead to outcomes including increased risk of injury, violence, liver disease, some types of cancer – even death. And while intoxication and alcoholism can negatively impact any situation, they’re especially dangerous in construction settings.
Safety has always been Danella’s core tenet and number one priority. This includes proactively protecting our people, our clients, and the public against the dangers of alcoholism.
Our Safety Program trains team members to identify signs of alcohol consumption and alcoholism – signs including slurred speech, dulled mental processing, odor of alcohol on the breath, and coordination issues. Danella follows all regulations in regards to suspicion of alcohol as outlined by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Any number of steps might be taken if an employee is suspected of drinking – but always included, for employees enrolled in benefits, is an invitation to take advantage of Danella’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Health Advocate, Danella’s EAP, assists individuals and their families dealing with one or more of any number of issues including alcohol abuse. If substance abuse is one of those issues, a licensed staff professional works with you to address it on many levels, including identifying internal and external factors that may be triggering the urge to drink.
If You Read One Sentence of This Story, Read This One:
A Danella employee enrolled in health benefits doesn’t have to endure suspicion before accessing our Employee Assistance Program. Health Advocate counselors are available 24/7/365. Call them at 866-799-2728 or connect online at HealthAdvocate.com/Danella. The process is confidential, is included free in your health benefits, and can go a long way toward ensuring your livelihood and your health.
What Else You Can Do
If you’re drinking excessively, commit to addressing it. We highly recommend reaching out to the EAP described above, and following these tips from the Mayo Clinic Health System for assessing drinking habits and consuming less:
- Get active. Physical and mental stimulation can distract from the urge to drink. Instead of passively watching TV or scrolling social media, commit to more active activities like cleaning, walking, playing a game, exercising, pursuing a hobby that’s always interested you, advocating a cause you believe in, or simply calling someone on the phone or on a video call.
- Assess the problem. Not sure if your drinking is a problem or not? Online self-assessment tools by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism can help you make the call.
- Talk with your primary care provider. Your doctor has heard it all before and can offer confidential, even lifesaving knowledge and resources for managing drinking. Even more, he/she can determine whether alcohol has impacted your liver function or red blood cell size.
Little changes can go a long way toward fighting addiction. If this story is resonating with you, take the first step. If you’re a Danella employee enrolled in benefits, reach out to a an EAP at 866-799-2728. Remember, this service provided by Danella is entirely confidential and included in the cost of your health benefits.
If you don’t work for Danella, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration national helpline at 800-622-HELP (4357). Call 911 if you’re experiencing an emergency.