Work: the more time you spend and the more you drink

Emergency room workers fought to ensure that their working hours did not exceed 48 hours per week. They were right: beyond this working time, the risk of having problematic alcohol consumption is increased by 12%! This is revealed by the analysis of a series of studies of 40,000 people in 14 countries, published January 13 in the medical journal The British Medical Journal.

At risk alcohol consumption is more than 14 alcoholic beverages per week for a woman, and more than 21 for a man, the authors note. The reference for a drink is usually the “unit” of alcohol, ie 10 grams of pure alcohol, corresponding to a standard glass (glass of bar or bar) such as for example a small glass of whiskey (3 centilitre or cl ), a glass of wine (10 cl at 12 °) or a mug of beer (25 cl at 5 °).

According to the researchers, the increase in consumption is the same regardless of gender, age or occupation of individuals. In total, of the 14 countries concerned, more than 2 million people are at risk of drinking too much alcohol. An impressive number but to relativize. “We must remember that work, as painful as it is, exposes people to less alcohol than unemployment,” recalls Professor Michel Lejoyeux, psychiatrist addictologist at Bichat hospital in Paris. Job loss and unemployment have long been recognized as contributing factors to alcoholism. On the other hand, the risk of alcohol abuse due to overwork is low in absolute terms, but it merits careful consideration, notes Cassandra Okechukwu, Harvard School of Public Health (USA). ).

What it hides

“The duration of working time is an indicator of hardship that shows that we are no longer in a normal relationship at work. But it is important to analyze why alcohol is consumed, “said Michel Lejoyeux. “As a result, we are seeing more and more women in work-related overwork and stress at home drinking alcohol for its euphoric effect, which will mask the first signs of fatigue. In contrast, occupations facing staggered hours will drink alcohol to sleep, “he continues.

More than the working time, the addictologist puts into question certain habits of integration to the group which necessarily pass through the consumption of alcohol. Although the law has recently evolved and states that French companies can now restrict the consumption of alcoholic beverages, the habits of pots at work are well anchored. Only 20% of employees do not participate in any pot in the year, according to a survey conducted by the Institute for Scientific Research on Drinks in 2014. The average number of annual pots in companies is three. During these pots, alcohol consumption remains the rule. “Spirits must evolve. Alcohol consumption should no longer be a condition to join the group, “concludes Michel Lejoyeux.

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