So how did dry January go…?
I thought the attached link from alcohol concern regarding dry January might be of interest www.dryjanuary.org.uk
Most of us are certainly familiar with the idea of Dry January (giving up alcohol for the month – often in an attempt to make up for the excesses of the Christmas period).
The rewards of an alcohol-free month are clear to see with the following statistics being highlighted:
- 79% of participants saved money
- 62% of participants reported better sleep and more energy
- 49% of participants lost weight.
Health wise though, it’s not only the calories that’s an issue. Heavy drinking contributes to high blood pressure and raised cholesterol, and it increases blood sugar levels raising the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Plus it leads to liver inflammation and scarring. According to a recent report by Public Health England, more than ten million Britons drink to harmful levels, regularly exceeding the recommended maximum of 14 units a week (a medium glass of wine is two units, as is a pint of beer).
Dry January therefore is a concept popular with medical experts, who are warning that Britain is in the grip of an alcohol epidemic. There is however an argument that one booze-free month alone has very few long-term health benefits. While not deterring people from doing it, (any time alcohol-free is a good thing) it is generally recognised that it’s far healthier to drink moderately throughout the year, with a few dry days every week.
But what does this mean for the employer?
Alcohol can have a wide range of impact on the workplace, from sickness absence and low productivity to putting the employee themselves, alongside colleagues and customers, at risk of harm.
167,000 years of working life were lost in 2015 due to alcohol and alcohol costs the UK between £21 billion and £52 billion a year. For people aged 15-49 in England, alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for early death, ill-health and disability.
Occupational Health (OH) works alongside employers to give them expert advice on the management of health issues in the workplace and OH support can be crucial to managing the impact of alcohol on the workplace. By assisting with a drug and alcohol policy, including testing where appropriate, OH professionals can assist in keeping employees and customers safe.
Lincoln Occupational Health (LOH) provides early interventions such as management support and counselling to support those who have asked for help with alcohol addiction.
If there are performance or work issues, LOH would encourage managers to raise these as observations with the employee following which a referral to OH should be considered. The referral should tell us the observable behaviours and facts without judgement.
If you would like to understand more about how Lincoln Occupational Health could help your organisation, please do not hesitate to contact Katie Eastwell on firstname.lastname@example.org