Raising the Bottom–Line–In Corporate America

Corporate America is as befuddled by the drug culture as the rest of the world. Not only does drug and alcohol abuse impact the bottom line, but the emotional toll it takes on workers, managers and other employees cannot be underestimated.

Everyone is aware that those who use drugs and alcohol are more likely to call in, suffer work place accidents and have low performance, and least we forget, people afflicted with addiction or alcoholism are often the ones who can’t play nice with others. When someone finds themselves in the early stages of addiction, that’s the best time to intervene. One reason problem drinkers are not spotted is because as a society, we’ve come to accept alcoholic-like drinking as normal social drinking. The trend to drink for every occasion, drinks after work, and drinks at office functions is sending some people right over the edge, but no one notices because everyone is drinking and drinking!

The person who may have an alcohol problem may exhibit some of these signs: Can’t get along well with coworkers; can’t function on a team; and can’t stop sulking and complaining; blames others. No one would correlate these early signs to drug and alcohol abuse because most people don’t understand alcoholism and how it leaks out in a person’s behavior long before others notice the drinking aspect of the disease.

Alcohol abuse costs companies billions of dollars a year.; what can we do?

5 Ways to Combat Substance Abuse in the Work Place

1.)   Companies should first reevaluate and ask what’s our corporate message? Do we tell new hires we’re the kind of place where we work hard and play hard? That right there sends a tangible message. Party people, all aboard!

2.)   Spread the word that you’re a company is a drug free work environment. Make a serious point of focusing on health and let people know that drugs and alcohol abuse will not be tolerated.

3.)   Random drug testing is the only way to go during the ninety day probationary period. When someone knows they have a drug test scheduled for a certain day, they’ll refrain for that short time, or they’ll get online and buy one of the many products out there designed to help people pass a drug test.

4.)   Retrain EAP’s to actually function like they’re supposed to. Ineffective and punitive programs will keep employees away. If you’re serious about dealing with substance abuse, EAP’s must have at least one staff member who knows something about addiction. If you can find a recovering person with solid sobriety who meets the employment criteria, that’s even better.

5.)   Don’t be afraid to talk about substance abuse: Let people know you are there to help, not punish.

I can tell you from personal experience after working in various hospitals over the past twenty-four years that I have yet to work on a unit where someone didn’t have a substance abuse issue. These employees were clearly visible, (to me anyway because I’m in recovery and I know the signs), but not even once did anyone address the employee. The early warning signs were all there, but what to do with the information? There were no clear avenues to address the issue so it was never addressed. What happened is that the employee eventually quit, was fired, or half of the department resigned because the manager didn’t address the one employee who was making life hell for everyone else. Your company doesn’t have to make the same mistake.


Lisa Boucher knew she had to take her message to corporate America when she realized that they too are suffering and have little experience in dealing with the drug and alcohol situation that has permeated their sphere. She’s the author of  five books that include, Raising the Bottom: Making Mindful Choices in a Drinking Culture. She is a recovering alcoholic with twenty-eight years of sobriety, a RN, speaker, and an inspirational life coach. She has worked with hundreds of individuals over the years and now wants to reach out to corporations. @LBoucherAuthor If you’d like to schedule me to talk to your company please email: info@raisingthebottom.com or call Sales Director, Karen Caswell: (505) 450-1305 

Visit Lisa and find out more about her by visiting her website: Raisingthebottom.com. You can also follow her on Twitter & Instagram: @LBoucherAuthor