For many people, the workplace is a nerve-wracking and tense environment. This is especially true for people in certain corporate industries. It also doesn’t help that so much of an adult’s life is spent at work. With all the time that people spend at their jobs, it’s no surprise that drinking on a lunch break is a common practice.
Many people like to drink alcohol to calm their nerves or take the edge off. Thus, many people feel that drinking on a lunch break can help them feel less tense and nervous at work. Other people may choose to drink on their lunch breaks because their work environment is more social or casual in nature.
Some people even think that calming themselves down with a drink can help them be more productive at work. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In fact, the opposite is more likely true.
On top of lessening productivity, there are many other dangers to drinking on a lunch break. For example, people who excessively drink throughout the day can develop an actual drinking problem. Whether people choose to drink on their lunch breaks because they have a drinking problem or because of a justifiable reason, one thing is for certain, drinking on a lunch break has become a regular practice in many people’s workplaces.
Common Reasons for Drinking on Lunch Break
Sometimes, people drink during their lunch breaks because they’re expected to for their job. Below are some examples of times when drinking on a lunch break is acceptable.
You Need to Socialize With Clients
Socially acceptable reasons for drinking on a lunch break is to socialize with clients and make new contacts. In some professions, people are expected to go out for drinks and interact with clients in order to solidify a deal. This is often the case for many businessmen.
You Wait to Eat Lunch Until Towards the End of Work Day
Another reason for drinking on a lunch break is if you tend to have your lunch break at a late time that is essentially the end of the workday. Most professionals who choose to drink on a workday do so to socialize with their co-workers at happy hour once the workday is over.
If you don’t take your lunch break until right before or even during happy hour, then choosing to consume a drink or two during a lunch break is fairly common. Still, it’s important to seek help if you find that you are constantly or excessively consuming alcohol.
You Work With Alcohol
If you literally work with food and alcohol as a living, then occasionally drinking on a lunch break may also be common for you. This is particularly the case if you work at some type of winery or brewery. Food critics or chefs who work with alcohol may sometimes partake in drinking.
You Only Drink Small Amounts When Necessary
While working with alcohol may require you to occasionally have a drink, choosing to drink unnecessarily at work just because alcohol is there should not be acceptable. Especially if you’re doing so on a day-to-day basis.
It just so happens that most people attend work and need to be their most productive during the workday. Thus, drinking on a lunch break while at work is not as acceptable as drinking after work during happy hour, at home, at dinner during the evening, or over the weekend.
Regardless of where and when you drink, you shouldn’t binge drink. Drinking excessively, regardless of when, is bad for your health and is a sign of having a drinking problem.
Unjustifiable Reasons for Drinking on Lunch Break
There are plenty of unjustifiable reasons for drinking on a lunch break. Remember the signs of having a drinking problem center more around why and how much you drink than when you drink. Some unjustifiable reasons for drinking at work are described below.
You’re Drinking To Ease Your Stress and Anxiety
For example, if you’re drinking at lunch because being in a work environment makes you stressed and anxious, then that is an unjustifiable reason to drink at work. Many people can’t help but feel stressed and anxious while at work. Still, drowning out that stress or anxiety by drinking alcohol is not the solution. In fact, doing so will likely only delay or increase problems and/or make people dependent on alcohol to function. The best way to manage stress or anxiety about work is to find healthy coping mechanisms to do so.
Some things that people can do to help them manage their stress or anxiety about work include preparing for the workday in advance, practicing breathing exercises, taking moments out of the workday for yourself to pull yourself together, and practicing general self-care when not at work. By doing these things, hopefully, you can manage your stress and anxiety about work without drinking alcohol. Doing these things will also increase your confidence at work.
You’re Drinking to Recover from a Hangover
Another unjustifiable reason that people may start drinking on a lunch break is that they have a hangover. Thus, such people may want to drink more alcohol during the day to help them recover.
Going to work while hungover is irresponsible and unprofessional. In fact, drinking so much that you get hungover is irresponsible in and of itself. Thus, if you choose to do so on a regular basis, then you likely have a drinking problem.
You’re Trying to Avoid Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms
People with drinking problems tend to experience withdrawal symptoms when they minimize or discontinue their drinking. Thus, if you can’t get through the workday without drinking due to the fact that you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms if you don’t, you have a drinking problem and need to attend rehab. You also have a drinking problem and need to attend rehab if you can’t function a day without drinking.
You’ve Become Accustomed to Drinking Heavily on a Daily Basis Due to Your Social Group
People with social groups that abuse alcohol are more likely to start drinking on a lunch break while at work. Thus, if you notice that you’re developing a drinking problem, minimize the time that you spend with your heavy-drinking friends.
Industries Where Drinking on Lunch Break is Most Common
There are certain industries where the poor habit of drinking on a lunch break is, unfortunately, very common. In fact, nearly every industry has some lunchtime drinking occurring in them. Below are the percentages of people within major industries that drink during lunch.
The public service industry is filled with the men and women that serve the public and keep our country running. People who work in public service include policemen, army men, paramedics, men in the air force, etc.
The reason why so many people who work in public service tend to drink on their lunch breaks is because of the high stress, physical labor, and long hours that their jobs entail. Also, public service industries create a work environment that is often filled with camaraderie and teamwork amongst employees.
All of this together creates an environment where public service employees bond and destress by drinking on lunch breaks. According to the American Addiction Centers, 6% of public servicemen drink on their lunch breaks.
Teaching children is one of the most honorable and most stressful jobs out there. Teaching is especially stressful when children that are still mentally developing act immaturely and do not listen.
Also, teaching can be very stressful due to difficulties, disagreements, and a lack of cooperation when it comes to students’ parents. It also doesn’t help that the school board places a large amount of pressure on teachers to improve every single child’s standardized test scores each year. Due to the stress and demands of teaching, 7% of educators are drinking on a lunch break.
Another honorable and stressful industry that causes employees to drink at lunch is the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry includes doctors, nurses, and other professionals that cater to the health and well-being of others.
Once again, due to the high-stress of the industry, it’s not uncommon for healthcare workers to engage in lunchtime drinking. In fact, 8% of healthcare professionals partake in a drink or two during lunch.
The media industry tends to contain workplaces that are very social in nature. Examples of the type of companies that are in the media industry include marketing and advertising agencies, PR companies, and regular media companies. According to the American Addiction Center, 12% of people in the media industry drink during lunch.
As the saying goes, money makes the world go around. Currency is arguably one of the main necessities of society. Thus, working with money in the financial industry is very intense work. As a result, 17% of financial employees drink at lunch.
When you work as an engineer, you’re often building and operating heavy equipment and machinery. That’s why it’s unwise for engineers to drink while working. Still, due to the stress of the job, 18% of engineers are drinking on lunch break.
Technology is continuously expanding and changing. Thus, it’s hard to deal with the stress of always having to keep up with changes in the tech industry. As a result, as many as 18% of tech employees drink on their lunch breaks.
The legal industry contains men and women that are always engaging with clients. When people in the legal industry work in corporate law or other areas of law in which their clients are wealthy people with power, drinking often goes along with client engagement. In fact, according to the American Addiction Center, 20% of people in the legal industry are drinking on lunch break.
When working in real estate, you too must engage with clients. As a part of real estate client engagement, many real estate brokers will show their clients different houses. When touring houses, real estate brokers offer clients drinks. Real estate brokers may even take clients out for lunch to work out the details of their clients’ home buying. As a result, as many as 25% of real estate brokers drink during lunch.
A time when people like to drink the most is when they are traveling and on vacation. Thus, if you work in tourism and are touring a group of tourists through a city or country, you’ll likely drink with the tourists to make them feel comfortable even though you’re at work. Due to the heavy amounts of drinking that occurs while people travel, 29% of tourists are drinking on lunch break.
Coastal Detox Is Here For You
Because these are some of the top industries in which employees are drinking on their lunch breaks, it’s important that people that work in these industries are cognizant of how much they drink. Getting too engrossed in the social scene of your workplace can cause you to develop a drinking problem if you aren’t careful. This could then cause you to perform poorly at your job, or even worse, lose your job.
If you are developing a drinking problem and need to receive addiction treatment, Coastal Detox is here to help you. Here at Coastal Detox, we offer detox services along with a variety of specialized inpatient, outpatient, and dual diagnosis treatment programs for people that are suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction. We even offer a specialized addiction treatment program that’s just for working professionals.
To learn more about the detox and addiction treatment services that we offer here at Coastal Detox, contact us today. We are happy to help you get your life back on track.