What if your colleague drinks too much?

You work together. You sometimes see each other more than your own partner. You've been noticing things lately. You can't quite place it yet, but you suspect it has to do with alcohol. You want to bring up what you see -and smell?- with your colleague. How do you do that?

Your colleague has gained or lost weight. A lot of chewing gum/peppermint is eaten. Trembling, sweating, confusion. And regular sick leave. All signs on the wall that indicate that something is wrong. Before long, your manager will also be suspicious. Doing nothing is not an option. Alcoholism is a disease and someone needs to be treated for it.

The first thing you do is discuss it. Show understanding and don't be angry. Be honest and tell it like it is. You don't have to do this alone. If your colleague is in denial and won't listen, you could report it to a counselor. Or, if there isn't one, with a manager.

Tips for an open conversation

talk alone with your colleague. An intervention with several colleagues is often too confrontational.

Talk about the adverse effects that you notice: 'I see that you are often absent, do not get your work done, are often late, look tired, shake regularly and forget appointments. I also sometimes smell an alcohol smell.'

Keep the Conversation accessible. Say things like, "Don't be ashamed of me." Or, "If you don't want to talk to me, I hope you look elsewhere for help."

But what about your manager? Then you can consider asking for advice from the confidential counselor of the ARBO service, for example.

Colleagues are usually reserved and don't dare to say much about it. Still, it's better if it does. At least then someone knows that it is noticed by colleagues and could therefore also be noticed by the manager. Furthermore, it often happens that colleagues take care of things for someone or hold their hand above their head. This usually has the opposite effect, because then someone experiences little harm from his drinking, which will certainly not be less. Source: alcoholinfo.nl.



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