STUDY: Long Hours at Work Can Increase Alcohol Abuse


Sober Recovery Expert Author

The term “workaholic” is generally used to describe those who put their career in the forefront of their lives and can be seen going well above and beyond their suggested call of duty.

While these driven individuals are important and valuable assets to their respective companies, a study conducted by Dr. Marianna Virtanen of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health has found that those who work more than 48 hours per week are 11 percent more likely to engage in dangerous binge drinking.

The startling correlation between working long hours and dangerous binge drinking.

“Individuals whose working hours exceed standard recommendations are more likely to increase their alcohol use to levels that pose a health risk,” said Virtanen.

Potential causes for the correlation between working hours and at-risk drinking likely stem from higher levels of stress in individuals who tirelessly throw themselves into work.

Researchers surveyed more than 330,000 people in 14 different countries in order to get a broad picture of the sweeping results. The variation in countries gives the study more credibility by factoring in a wider range of cultures so to present an overall worldwide trend.

While 11 percent is not an amazingly enlarged risk, researchers are dedicated to finding out how much of an individual’s environment plays a role on their drinking habits. Individual characteristics are always outliers, which can affect overall research totals and findings, but any additional information that can be found out about alcoholism could provide more insight for future methods of prevention and treatment.

A second cause for the study’s findings could be personality based, where a person who is addicted or immensely driven in a professional setting also holds the same traits when it comes to their drinking habits. Research has shown that cross-addiction is extremely common and that while the vices may have nothing to do with each other the additive personality of the individual is the common denominator and overall cause.

England saw more than 10 million alcohol-related hospitalizations last year, only furthering the premise that there indeed is a problem going on. While working habits can only account for so much of the equation, the underlying issue remains that alcohol is portrayed as being an escape or a stress reliever, when in reality problem drinking will only make matters worse.

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