Drug and Alcohol Abuse in the Hospitality Industry
In the hospitality industry, alcohol is abused at a higher rate than any other service field, including construction and mining. Two surveys were given to 84 students who were employed. It was found that students who worked in the hospitality industry scored way higher when it came to alcohol use. According to the Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA, it is reported that one out of 10 workers has five or more drinks in a given month. Between 2008 and 2012, surveys were given to employees who ranged from the age of 18 to 64. Of those employees, hospitality workers were at 19.1 percent when it came to abusing drugs, that is more than any other employee in other fields.
There is no indication if drugs or alcohol are actually abused on the job, but overall, hospitality industry workers have a higher incident rate. As a whole, 9.5 percent of employees between the ages of 16 and 64 have a substance use disorder problem. It has been reported that 12.1 percent of managers in all industries abuse drugs. SAMHSA indicated that when it comes to drugs abused by hospitality industry workers it included, crack, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and prescription drugs not medically prescribed to individuals.
Contributing Factors to Substance Use Disorder in the Hospitality Industry
Hospitality workers typically suffer from substance use disorder because of workplace stress. According to the CDC, workers feel either stressed or extremely stressed. The reasoning behind all of the stress is heavy workloads and long hours. Stress in the workplace can also be contributed to low wages. Hospitality workers work for low wages and long hours. In the hospitality industry, shift work is known to be a high stressor. Hospitality workers have to deal with poor management and shortages of staff.
Another reason why hospitality workers suffer is that they work around a lot of alcohol. For example, waitresses and waiters have to work around alcohol all the time where it can cause them to start drinking during and after work. For instance, a customer may ask them to have a drink with them and it just becomes a pattern. Since the work is so stressful, to alleviate any anxiety, hospitality workers will start abusing drugs, such as non-prescription medications or ask one of their patrons where he or she can obtain some drugs. In the hospitality industry, employees may start to be absent from work, sneak off to the corner to be by themselves, and their physical appearance might start to change. At work, their job performance will decrease. They are less motivated to complete a task and become moody for no apparent reason. For instance, a chef may get frustrated when an employee asks them a simple question about a specific dish. The chef may start to get angry and want to fight the employee. In order to calm the chef down, he or she may go somewhere in private and take a couple of drinks and/or abuse drugs. When the chef comes back to the kitchen, he or she is a new person until the high of the drug or alcohol wears down. Other signs to look out for in the hospitality industry is if the worker starts having mental and physical issues. Physical issues include headaches, muscle aches, stomach pains, and feeling fatigue. Mental health signs to look out for are depressed and anxious all the time. They tend to be in their own little world at work. It may take the worker longer than normal to complete a simple task.
Signs of Substance Use Disorder in the Hospitality Industry
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In the hospitality industry, employees may start to be absent from work, sneak off to the corner to be by themselves, and their physical appearance might start to change. At work, their job performance will decrease. They are less motivated to complete a task and become moody for no apparent reason. For instance, a chef may get frustrated when an employee asks them a simple question about a specific dish. The chef may start to get angry and want to fight the employee. In order to calm the chef down, he or she may go somewhere in private and take a couple of drinks and/or abuse drugs. When the chef comes back to the kitchen, he or she is a new person until the high of the drug or alcohol wears down. Other signs to look out for in the hospitality industry is if the worker starts having mental and physical issues. Physical issues include headaches, muscle aches, stomach pains, and feeling fatigue. Mental health signs to look out for are depressed and anxious all the time. They tend to be in their own little world at work. It may take the worker longer than normal to complete a simple task.
Risks of Substance Use Disorder at Work
In the hospitality industry, workers risk of getting caught using substances at work and when they do get caught, there are repercussions, including being fired and getting arrested. Managers want their workers to be able to perform their job correctly and in a timely manner. A hospitality worker’s main job is to make sure that customers are satisfied. Customers are always on the lookout for any mistakes that a worker is making. A hospitality worker who’s abusing drugs or alcohol will clearly show it by their performance by yawning or having bloodshot eyes. This is an indicator to the customer that the hospitality worker has some personal issues and will complain to the worker’s manager.
Due to the stress of the industry and the addiction they deal with, some hospitality workers have a habit of being clumsy and end up leaving their drugs and alcohol around. Anyone may find it, such as a child, another employee, or customer. Drugs on the premise could cause the establishment to be shut down completely, especially if the hospitality worker is dealing near the establishment. People in the community may notice that workers at the establishment dealing drugs instead of inside working and report it to law enforcement who could, in turn, be raided and cause everyone to lose their jobs and being arrested, especially if drugs are found on the premises.
What to Expect at Inpatient Rehab for Hospitality Workers
At Sunshine Behavioral Health, hospitality workers can expect personalized care with highly qualified medical professionals and counselors who can help them to become the person that they once were and even better. At the inpatient detox center, the focus is on making sure the withdrawal symptoms are managed as safely and slowly as possible. Going cold turkey could lead to major complications, such as the patient increasing his or her dosage of drugs or alcohol to alleviate the pain, which could lead to seizures and/or death. Even though the hospitality worker may be on drugs, the therapist may suggest medication in order to help with withdrawal symptoms.
Inpatient detox may not be the first choice when recovering from drug abuse or alcoholism, but by being an inpatient, the patient can prevent from relapsing when withdrawal symptoms get too bad and hanging around people who provide drugs and alcohol to them. Other treatment options include 12 Steps, which is the most popular treatment and Non 12 Steps, which includes using yoga, breathing therapy, and mediation. Since the hospitality industry is so stressful, a worker more than likely has depression and anxiety. They could benefit from dual diagnosis. It not only helps the patient get their drug or alcohol use under control but their mental state as well.
This can be scary and confusing for a person who wants help but doesn’t believe in other treatments. They may want to consider holistic rehab, which focuses on the mind, body, and soul. A hospitality worker may want to be in control of their own treatment by selecting the SMART recovery program. It will teach the worker to have self-control and skills needed to stay clean once he or she leaves rehab. As an inpatient, hospitality industry workers will be able to talk to other addicts who are recovering with similar substance use disorder issues who could help them learn how to cope with their addiction.
Rehab Insurance for Hospitality Industry Workers
Paying for rehab can be a challenge for hospitality industry workers because they make minimum wage and it’s barely enough for them to pay their daily living expenses. In the hospitality industry, full-time workers may be able to obtain benefits, such as health insurance, but it can’t be used until at least 90 days on the job. If a hospitality worker is in real need and needs to go into rehab quickly, it may cause the hospitality worker to change his or her mind and not want to enter rehab. They may try to stop taking drugs or alcohol on their own and end up relapsing because they don’t have the proper resources to help them through the process.
On the other hand, hospitality workers may have health insurance, but most insurance requires a co-pay and there may be a limit on how many times you can go to rehab. Since there may be a co-pay and in the hospitality industry the pay is low, it may be difficult for the workers to even pay. They may be able to find sponsors who are willing to pay for inpatient rehab. Sponsors have the best interest of the patient. They are their mentors and will make sure they attend their meetings. They may even pay for their inpatient rehab treatment if they feel the hospitality industry worker is serious and really wants help.
Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.