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The Retreat NZ - The Recovery Friendly Workplace Programme

New Survey Unveils Alarming Impact of Alcohol on Workplace Productivity: The Retreat NZ Advocates for Change with Recovery Friendly Workplace Programme

The Retreat NZ has revealed the findings of a six-month self-assessment survey conducted anonymously on its website, highlighting the significant impact of alcohol on workplace productivity and personal well-being.

Results showed out of 899 participants, a staggering 69% reported experiencing complete memory loss due to drinking, and 71% admitted to feelings of remorse after consuming alcohol. Although only 21% reported losing work time due to drinking, this still indicates that one in five individuals is experiencing

compromised job performance. Additionally, 34% drank to boost self-confidence, and 33% believed their drinking was damaging their reputation.

In response to these findings, The Retreat NZ is launching the Recovery Friendly Workplace Programme. This initiative aims to support employees who are still functioning at work but are at risk of their drinking escalating into a more serious issue.

Janet Thompson, CEO of The Retreat NZ says, “The Recovery Friendly Workplace Programme will challenge the stigma around addiction, recognise it as a health issue, and provide employers with the tools to support their employees in finding and maintaining recovery,” said Thompson. “It’s crucial to understand that addiction should not excuse bad behavior or poor performance, but we need to encourage staff to seek help early, where treatment can be most effective.”

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Thompson is not surprised by the results as she works with problem drinkers on a daily basis. “What I would love to see is a society where it was OK to come forward and say that you need help because your drinking has become a problem. Because of the stigma around alcoholism, people are suffering in silence and not getting help before a catastrophic event happens, or people start to lose jobs, relationships and self-esteem.”

Research from a 2019 paper from The University of Otago, titled “Hidden cost of alcohol to workplaces estimated at $1.65 billion,” underscores the economic impact of alcohol on productivity. The study surveyed 800 employees and 227 employers, finding that lost productivity due to absenteeism and presenteeism costs an average of $1,097.71 per employee annually. Employers spend an additional $134.62 dealing with the consequences of employees’ drinking behaviors, including health, disciplinary, and legal matters.

Prominent researcher Dr. John Kelly emphasized the severe global impact of alcohol use disorder, stating, “Alcohol use disorder is a major cause of misery, premature death, and disease worldwide, killing ten times more people than all illicit drugs combined.”

Thompson urges society to tackle the stigma around alcoholism directly, encouraging individuals to seek help. “It’s okay to admit you need help – you might be high-functioning, but handling this alone is not feasible. Support is available; you just have to be willing to ask for it.”

About The Retreat NZ: The Retreat NZ offers unique, impactful residential programmes for those suffering from alcohol addiction. As a private rehabilitation centre, we are run by experienced volunteers and professionals dedicated to aiding individuals on their road to recovery.

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