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Hungover at Work During the Holiday Season?

Survey from Caron Treatment Centers Shows More Than Half of Americans Have Missed a Day of Work

Wernersville, PA – November 27, 2012 – The holiday season has always been a time for celebrations, however, many employers may want to be mindful of the impact this joyful time has on employee productivity. A recent survey from Caron Treatment Centers showed that 64 percent of Americans have called in sick or know someone who has missed a day of work due to a hangover after attending a holiday party.

Of those who did show up at work following a holiday party, nearly half were hungover, or knew someone that was hungover, which could have resulted in lost productivity according to Caron, a nationally recognized non-profit provider of alcohol and drug addiction treatment.

“There is already a significant amount of stress and competition in the workplace. If employees are unable to perform because of drinking too much the night before, their job performance may be seriously impacted,” said Dr. Harris Stratyner, Vice President of Caron Treatment Centers. “While it is an individual’s responsibility to manage their alcohol consumption, employers can encourage employees to take responsibility for their behavior. Encouraging an alcohol-free office party, offering ideas on how to manage stress in a healthy way and supporting substance abuse treatment without shame if an employee has a drug or alcohol problem, are all positive steps to help improve the workplace and increase productivity.”

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Caron Treatment Centers from November 6–8, 2012, among 2,005 adults ages 21 and older. It showed that nearly 60 percent of people think alcohol makes a party more fun, while nearly 40 percent say they/friend/family member have used the holidays as an excuse to drink more than they normally would. In addition, 96 percent of those who have either come into work hungover after a holiday party or know someone who did have also observed the following:

• 64 percent called in sick from work
• 61 percent arrived late/left early from work
• 54 percent mentally “checked-out” even though they were physically in the office
• 46 percent had trouble completing work-related tasks
• 46 percent had been sick at work
• 43 percent put off some of their work until the following day
• 27 percent took a long lunch break

“Alcohol is often center stage at holiday parties,” continued Dr. Stratyner. “Many people think they need alcohol to enjoy social occasions such as holiday celebrations. Some people are able to drink alcohol in a healthy and moderate way. However, our survey indicates that nearly 75 percent of adults are not drinking in moderation during the holidays, which is cause for concern. If someone is consistently drinking excessively, it could be a sign of a more serious health issue, such as depression or addiction.” 
“Alcohol can lead to dangerous and destructive behavior,” Dr. Stratyner cautioned. Additional alarming survey results demonstrated that of the adults1 who have attended a holiday party:

• 59 percent have seen people arguing or becoming aggressive
• 57 percent have seen people drive under the influence
• 51 percent have seen people excessively using profanity
• 45 percent have seen people sharing inappropriate personal details about themselves

If you have concerns about a colleague or loved one or would like to learn more about signs and symptoms of substance abuse, please visit caron.org.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Caron Treatment Centers from November 6–8, 2012, among 2,005 adults ages 21 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact bthomlison@affect.com.

About Caron Treatment Centers
Caron Treatment Centers is a nationally recognized non-profit provider of alcohol and drug addiction treatment. With more than 50 years in the field, Caron is one of the oldest and largest organizations offering primary, relapse and longer-term residential treatment for adolescents, young adults, adults and older adults, as well as families affected by the disease of addiction. Caron’s treatment is gender separate and gender-specific. Caron has extensive experience in the treatment of co-occurring psychological/psychiatric disorders within its patient community. Formerly the Caron Foundation, the acclaimed Caron Treatment Centers network operates treatment centers in Wernersville, PA; Dallas, TX; and West Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Delray Beach, FL. Caron also operates The Hanley Center and Gate Lodge. Caron has regional offices in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. For more information, visit caron.org.

1. Harris Interactive Survey; 74% of Americans who have ever attended a holiday party have/or know someone who has drunk more than three alcohol drinks during a holiday party. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans moderate alcohol consumption is defined as having up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men; http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm#moderateDrinking.