Service industry professions have long been associated with having a higher risk for causing people to develop an addiction, and this can be due to several factors that include working long hours and dealing with high levels of stress. When it comes to bar employees, bartenders are more than two times more likely to die from alcoholism compared to people who perform other types of work. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Knowing how working in a bar could trigger alcoholism and addiction gives you a starting point for protecting your health and advocating for others who might not realize the danger they are in at work.
How Could Working In a Bar Increase Your Risk for Addiction?
With some jobs, it is easy to assess the potential risk of developing health problems. Painters know that they could inhale fumes, which is why they’ll wear special masks to filter the air they breathe. Roof installers know that they could fall, and they’ll often use tethers to protect themselves from harm. While it should be as simple to admit that working in a bar also comes with the risk of developing health problems, people tend not to talk about it. This is because the bar industry thrives on making alcohol consumption normalized. Essentially, talking about addiction means admitting that there could be many people frequenting the bar that is being put in harm’s way.
As you might’ve seen in your line of work, some people can handle drinking occasionally just fine. This is why bars still exist. However, working in a bar exposes you to circumstances that heighten your risk of developing an addiction. Being in a place where alcohol consumption is normalized already raises your risk. Then, add on long hours, a fast-paced work environment, and challenging demands from your bar’s patrons, and you’ve got all of the ingredients you need for a recipe that results in stress. Being overwhelmed at work makes it even more likely that you could start drinking heavily.
What Are the Signs That You Might Be Dealing With Alcoholism?
When you work in a culture that makes daily alcohol consumption look normal, you might be wondering how you would ever know if you developed alcoholism. Watching out for these bar-specific signs of an alcohol addiction helps you to know when you might need to consider that you have a problem.
- Drinking after hours the majority of nights during the week
- Sneaking drinks while on the clock, which is often illegal
- Stealing alcohol from behind the counter
- Having a drink before work to knock the edge off of your hangovers
- Noticing that you drink more than your average co-worker
- Continuing to drink long after you get home from a shift •Having problems at work such as chronic lateness or absences
Can You Still Work In a Bar After You Recover?
You’ve got a good chance of recovery when you decide to stop working temporarily so that you can go to a professional treatment program. Taking yourself out of an alcohol-fueled environment instantly reduces temptation, and you’ll find it easier to recover when you are around people that support sobriety. Although some people might be able to successfully work in a bar after they get sober, this isn’t typically recommended for anyone who is new to recovery.
Instead, you can work with your treatment team to explore new careers that keep you away from alcohol. Many former bartenders and servers choose to enter other types of service industries, and you might find that you still enjoy helping other people to feel happy as long as it doesn’t involve handling alcohol. Entering a new career is so much easier when you’ve stopped over-drinking and started focusing on self-improvement. Do you think working in a bar might be triggering alcoholism? We’ll help you find out if you’ve crossed the line into drinking excessively. We’re here at any time of day or night, so give us a call after your next shift at 614-705-0611 to start your recovery.