A stressed businessman sits at his desk with his hands on his head.

Work Stress and Alcohol: Is My Job Causing Me to Drink?

For many executives, the concept of both working and playing hard takes on a whole new meaning. The effort and commitment required to ascend the corporate ladder can drive some people to address their stress through less-than-healthy methods – including drinking and drugs.

Additionally, it’s not unusual for business meetings to involve cocktails or celebratory drinks. It’s almost a part of the corporate culture to incorporate alcohol consumption into everyday scenarios. For example,

  • Long day at the office…have a drink.
  • Hard day at work…have a drink.
  • Major accomplishment at the office…have a drink.
  • Struggles at the office…have a drink.

For every situation, alcohol seems to be the primary remedy that many executives use to either calm their nerves or enjoy the moment. While this does not apply to every single person working in corporate America, many businesspeople across the United States struggle with alcohol abuse.

Does Drinking Relieve Work Stress?

For many individuals with an executive role, self-medicating with alcohol is a common practice. After all, alcohol is a sedative and depressant that affects your central nervous system and can provide feelings of relaxation.

The problem with drinking consistently or incorporating alcohol into every aspect of your life is that a tolerance can be built up rather quickly. This requires a person to drink more and more to achieve the same feelings of relaxation, leading to long-term health issues and an alcohol use disorder.

Are You Drinking to Cope with Stress at Work?

Trying to identify if your drinking is recreational or self-medicating can be simple. Begin by asking yourself a few key questions to gauge the motivations behind your alcohol consumption and how frequently you are consuming alcohol:

  • How often is work stress influencing your alcohol consumption?
  • Do you drink to manage the stress you experience at the office?
  • Do you drink to forget work-related problems?
  • Could you stop drinking today and stay sober for the next 30 days?

If you answered these questions honestly and found your responses to indicate that your drinking is influenced by your work stress, then perhaps your alcohol consumption is more problematic than you thought.

The Connection Between Work, Stress and Alcohol

Studies have shown that stress of all types can negatively impact an individual’s behavior and increase the likelihood that they turn to alcohol to cope. Some of the more telling statistics include:

  • Men and women who reported higher levels of stress all tended to drink more
  • Men tend to turn to alcohol more often than women to process their stress
  • Twenty-four percent of workers report drinking during the workday at least once in the past year1

Understanding that increased stress in the workplace can dramatically impact your behavioral patterns and substance use is key to not only admitting that a problem exists, but also taking the necessary steps to get the help you need.

Ready to Stop Drinking and Live Your Best Sober Life?

The beauty of life is that for every mistake you make, you can always learn from those missteps to avoid them in the future. If you have found yourself struggling with an alcohol addiction and realize that work stress is negatively impacting your disease, there is no time like the present to find the clinical help you need to begin your recovery journey.

Investing in your life by finding a qualified clinical facility to address your alcohol addiction can be the best decision you may ever make. Admitting that the problem exists allows you to drop your guard and open yourself to the possibilities of rehabilitation.

Program options include everything from outpatient treatment (which offers flexibility with your work schedule) to in-patient therapy, which allows you to live at the facility while you address your addiction.

Contacting a qualified clinician to schedule a diagnostic assessment is necessary in order to identify the severity of your alcohol use and the best course of action to take.

There is no shame in feeling overwhelmed or stressed, and making the decision to self-medicate with alcohol to cope with that work stress is a common occurrence. But overcoming that addiction and reestablishing your health is paramount to achieving success in the workplace and in your life.

Keep in mind, what good is all the money in the world if you don’t live long enough to enjoy it?

Life-Changing Holistic Addiction Rehab and Relapse Prevention at Ranch Creek Recovery

Taking the first steps in your recovery journey can be exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time. No matter which emotion you experience, you are not alone throughout this process.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we believe that finding motivation within yourself to overcome your addiction and strive toward sobriety is both commendable and admirable. But taking the time to plan properly, establish appropriate personal goals and create a sober and supportive social network can mean the difference between just starting the therapeutic journey and completing the expedition to sustained substance abstinence.

We make it our mission to meet you exactly where you are in life and walk with you every step of the way throughout your recovery journey. Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery’s alcohol addiction treatment program and rehab approach or contact us today to get your questions answered.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607

Resources:

1 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The Link Between Stress and Alcohol. Accessed February 21, 2020. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/AA85/AA85.htm.