Drug and Alcohol Use & Abuse in the Food and Beverage Industry
Drug and alcohol use and abuse in the food and beverage industry is a serious issue that affects not only the health and safety of employees but also the quality of the products and services provided to customers.
Several signs can indicate drug and alcohol use and abuse in the workplace, including:
Frequent absences or tardiness
Changes in behavior or mood swings
Decreased productivity or quality of work
Poor personal hygiene
Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
Poor communication with coworkers or customers
Aggressive or violent behavior
Slurred speech or impaired coordination
According to a survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the food and beverage industry has a higher rate of substance use disorders compared to other industries. Specifically, the study found that:
16.9% of workers in the food services industry reported past-month illicit drug use, compared to 9.4% in other industries.
11.8% of workers in the food services industry reported heavy alcohol use, compared to 6.2% in other industries.
There are several resources available for those struggling with drug and alcohol use and abuse in the food and beverage industry, including:
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): Many employers offer EAPs to help employees with personal problems, including substance abuse.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA offers a national helpline (1-800-662-HELP) that provides free, confidential support and referrals to local treatment facilities.
National Restaurant Association: The National Restaurant Association offers resources and training programs to help employers and employees address drug and alcohol use in the workplace.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA): These are free support groups that provide a safe and confidential environment for individuals struggling with addiction.
Gigpro supports those in the food and beverage industry on the path to recovery by donating monthly to Ben’s Friends International. Ben’s Friends is a community of chefs, bartenders, line cooks, servers, sommeliers, hosts and hostesses, GMs, and owners who have found or are seeking sobriety. Their mission is to offer community, hope, and a path forward for those struggling with substance abuse and addiction. At their core, they are hospitality workers who have found a connection, and the tools to seek and maintain sobriety while managing their careers and lives in a sane and purposeful way.