drinking after work

Drinking After Work: The Problem With Stress Drinking

Last Updated: Jul 22nd 2021

Reviewed by Laura Riley

Drinking after work is a common practice that millions of people in the U.S. engage in. It’s completely normal to go out and have a drink of beer or wine after work with your co-workers or alone. However, this ordinary act can sometimes end up becoming a problem as time goes on. Having beer or wine after work to cope with stress can eventually become a bad habit. What begins as casual drinking can escalate to problem drinking and even addiction. 

It’s important to understand the issues that can come with drinking after work and when it’s time to stop. Many drug addictions and alcohol use disorders develop without a person even noticing. Before addiction, people typically start to become dependent on drinking. They may feel off or experience symptoms when not drinking. This is a clear sign that something is wrong. What starts as a drink or two after work every day becomes a routine and addiction.

Why Do People Drink After Work?

The-Problem-With-Stress-DrinkingThere are several reasons why a person may want to drink after work. Apart from simply wanting to go out with co-workers or friends, they may drink to cope with the day’s stresses. Unfortunately, many occupations come with stress while others may take lots of manual labor. Those who work in construction or manual labor tend to abuse alcohol much more after work.  

However, it is not just working-class people who may struggle with substance abuse due to drinking after work. There are those at the professional level who also struggle with the same problems. This goes to show that substance abuse can happen to anyone if they aren’t careful. Stress in a person’s life can be the root cause of drinking and drug use. Without the proper control, a person can eventually develop an addiction. 

Stress After Work

Some people rely on alcohol use and drinking after work to relieve their stress. While this habit may seem normal and safe, problems can begin to develop over time. As mentioned, work or life, in general, can be a great source of stress for some people. There are many ways to relieve stress in a healthy way but some people see drinking as a quick and easy way to take their mind off these thoughts. 

Having some wine after work to reduce stress can quickly evolve into an alcohol use disorder if a person is not careful. 

Let’s take a look at some of the stresses that may arise in the workplace. While each workplace is different and there are different factors to take into account, there are still a few common reasons. Common work-related stresses may include the following:

  • Job insecurity
  • Salary stresses
  • Repetitive work
  • Long and grueling hours
  • Lack of control in the workplace
  • Problems with co-workers or a boss
  • No room for growth/advancement
  • Unrealistic expectations

These problems can eat away at a person’s wellbeing. Sometimes, people find solace in drinking to ease the tension in their work-life. It’s important to ease this stress without always resorting to drinking after work. While it is okay to enjoy a drink here and there, it is not normal to rely on drinking. This is where alcohol use disorder and alcoholism come into play. 

Stress from Outside Sources

Work may not be the only source of stress in a person’s life. Outside of work, there are just as many stressors if not more. Some may even resort to drinking after work to avoid or numb their stresses back at home. As with all cases of life’s stresses, it’s important to manage them in a healthy way instead of resorting to drinking immediately. 

Some of the most common sources of stress come from:

  • Financial problems
  • Illness and disease
  • Relationship issues (fighting with a partner, breakups, etc.)
  • Death in the family or other tragic event
  • Mental illness (depression, anxiety, etc.)
  • Other responsibilities or obligations

These are just a few of the many different reasons why a person may experience stress and turn to drugs or alcohol for relief. 

How to Control Drinking After Work

Why-Do-People-Drink-After-WorkWhen it comes to drinking after your workday has ended, it’s important to be aware and focused on how much you’re drinking. There are specific phone apps that can help you keep track of how much you’ve had to drink throughout the night. More than that there are certain things you can do to make sure you are taking the necessary precautions when drinking after work. 

1. It’s Okay to Say ‘No’ 

Peer pressure can be your downfall if you aren’t careful. While your co-workers may want to drink with you, it is okay to say ‘no’. Maintaining your control over the situation and taking the safer route can save you trouble in the long run. While having a drink initially may be fine, if it begins to escalate into alcohol abuse, saying ‘no’ is the best route to take before it’s too late. 

2. Suggest Sober Activities

Going out with co-workers after work doesn’t have to necessarily involve drinking. You can suggest some sober activities to HR that are fun and don’t necessarily involve drinking or drugs. While some workplaces are open about their drinking policy, this shouldn’t be an excuse for excessive drinking. There are many activities that can be fun and fulfilling such as bowling, going to see a movie, escape rooms, and other activities. These are great ways to build bonds and connections while remaining sober. 

3. Find Alternatives to Alcohol

Believe it or not, there are many non-alcoholic drinks that can mark the end of the day. It can be something simple like sparkling water or even just soda. There is nothing wrong with drinking one of these alternatives instead of alcohol. While they may not have the same impact, you’ll come to realize that you don’t need alcohol to cool down after work. Drinking after work can become a problematic situation if a person loses control. 

Identifying a Drinking Problem

Drinking-After-WorkIt’s important to know when simple drinking has become a problem. Alcohol abuse will become apparent through several areas of a person’s life. When a person’s drinking habits become a problem their behavior and thought processes begin to change. Alcohol use disorder or alcoholism occurs when a person’s drinking starts to have a negative impact on their life (at work, at home, and in all aspects of life) 

Some of the common signs of alcohol use disorder may include:

  • Building a tolerance to alcohol use
  • Time spent being drunk, sick, or hungover
  • A desire to stop drinking but being unable to
  • Getting into legal or financial trouble due to drinking
  • A worsened performance at school, work, or in a person’s home life
  • Continuing to drink even if it causes depression, anxiety, or other negative consequences
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking (nausea, sweating, racing heart, trouble sleeping, etc.) 

When it comes to drinking after work, it’s important to be wary of these red flags. If these symptoms begin to develop, it may be a sign that professional help is needed.

Getting Professional Help

If you or someone you know has developed a drinking problem, it may be time to get professional help. At North Jersey Recovery Center, we are dedicated to making sure all our clients get the best treatment possible. Regardless of how a person develops a drinking or substance abuse disorder, we believe recovery is always possible. 

There are several stages to overcoming alcoholism and alcohol abuse. North Jersey Recovery Center offers several paths to make sure treatment is personalized and effective. Typically, all cases of addiction begin with medically assisted detox. During this stage, a person eases their way into quitting alcohol use entirely. During this time professionals will be by the person’s side through the whole experience. 

Detox is best done under the supervision of medical professionals. This is because detox can sometimes be unpredictable and without the proper guidance, can be fatal. This is why having trained professionals with the right resources can make a big difference and is much safer. Other programs we offer include:

These are just a few of the quality programs that we offer at North Jersey Recovery Center (NJRC). Drug and alcohol addictions can wreak havoc on a person’s life if left untreated. This is why it’s important to act sooner rather than later.

Start the Journey At North Jersey Recovery Today

Drinking after work may seem innocent enough but this can lead to more severe problems down the road if you or a loved one is not careful. When it comes to getting proper help for addiction, North Jersey Recovery Center is the recommended choice. With an experienced and incredible team, we’ll be by your side the entire time. Don’t wait for things to get worse, give us a call today to get started on the journey towards a better life.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Laura Riley

Laura-Riley-Cropped-Profile-150x150Laura Riley, MA, LCADC, CCS is an Administrator with North Jersey Recovery Center.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>