Research & Resources

Alcohol-Tolerant Workplace Environments Are a Risk Factor for Young Adult Alcohol Misuse on and off the Job in Australia and the United States

In this study, researchers examined whether alcohol-tolerant workplace environments are associated with greater risk for alcohol use and misuse on and off the job among young adults. Data were collected in 2014 from 25-year-olds in Washington state in the U.S. and in Victoria, Australia. Logistic regressions indicated that availability of alcohol at work, absence of a written alcohol policy, and alcohol-tolerant workplace norms and attitudes were independently associated with 1.5 to 3 times greater odds of on-the-job alcohol use or impairment. Alcohol-tolerant workplace norms were associated also with greater odds of high-risk drinking independent of on-the-job alcohol use or impairment. Associations were mostly similar in the two locations, although young adults in Victoria perceived their workplaces to be more alcohol-tolerant and were more likely to use alcohol or be impaired at work and to misuse alcohol generally than young adults in Washington. Researchers suggest that workplace interventions restricting the availability of alcohol, banning alcohol at work, and reducing alcohol-tolerant norms have the potential to prevent and reduce young adults’ alcohol use and misuse on and off the job.

This paper, “Alcohol-tolerant workplace environments are a risk factor for young adult alcohol misuse on and off the job in Australia and the United States,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and published in the International journal of environmental research and public health.

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