Here at America Drug Free, we often hear the most uproar about illicit drug use in the workplace, but people often forget about the legal drug that can cause a whole set of its own problems: alcohol. As you prepare to address drug testing for your Atlanta workplace, we implore you not to forget about alcohol. Let’s take a look at how alcohol affects the body, how alcohol can impact the workplace, and how you can stop alcohol-related accidents from happening.
How Does Alcohol Affect the Body?
Ethyl alcohol, the active component of alcoholic beverages, affects the body on a neurobiological level. The main pathway through which alcohol takes effect is through slowing down the rate at which neurotransmitters travel and bind to their destination receptors. Alcohol is, by definition, a depressant drug – as opposed to a stimulant. Let’s take a look at the different capacities in which alcohol can affect an individual’s ability to function:
Since everything that happens in an intoxicated brain happens at a much slower speed, social scenarios that require a judgment call can be extremely difficult for an intoxicated individual. This can lead to frustration, poor outcomes, and misjudged situations.
Reacting to stimuli of any kind is impaired when the brain is under the effects of alcohol. In safe, trusting scenarios, this isn’t necessarily an issue; however, when dealing with heavy machinery, impaired reaction time can be life-threatening.
Impaired problem solving goes hand in hand with impaired judgment, mentioned above. Slower transmission of neurotransmitters can make judging a social or physical situation much harder; further complication comes from trying to problem solve in response to this judgment.
Alcohol heavily hinders motor processes, especially after more than three drinks for the average individual. Intoxicated individuals may have difficulty with fine motor control after less than this, however. This impaired coordination is, combined with docked reaction time, the basis for the dangerous nature of driving under the influence.
Alcohol can also affect how well an individual is able to concentrate on a single stimulus. Intoxicated individuals often get overwhelmed when there are many stimuli to concentrate on at once, even if the majority of stimuli are not important. Being distracted can also cause a hindrance to problem-solving, coordination, and judgment.
How Can Alcohol Affect My Atlanta Workplace?
Since coordination and reaction time are impaired during heavy intoxication, accidental injury is extremely likely – especially when operating heavy machinery. Cars, trucks, construction vehicles, and other assembly-line machinery are all pieces of equipment that should be off-limits if an employee has had anything to drink.
Social Conflict & Poor Decision Making
Judgment and problem solving are impaired when an employee has been drinking, often leading to conflicts within relationships. Arguments and fights are more likely when alcohol is involved due to these reasons. Additionally, employees who are intoxicated may be more likely to make unwanted sexual advances in the workplace, regardless of how well you train your employees.
As mentioned above, alcohol can have a wide variety of diminishing effects on a person; this directly translates to decreased productivity and higher risks for you – the business owner. Therefore, it is in your best interest to both discourage the drinking of alcoholic beverages before work and test employees if they will be operating heavy machinery.
Stopping Alcohol-Related Issues: Drug Testing in Atlanta
If you want to completely stop drug-related accidents, conflicts, injuries, and deaths, it’s in your best interest to solidify a drug-testing plan. Not sure where to start? Contact the drug testing experts right here in Atlanta. America Drug Free can help you set up onsite testing for your employees to ensure a safer workplace.