Women and Substance Abuse
As mentioned above, women who abuse alcohol and drugs are also likely to suffer from lower self-esteem, which makes them more vulnerable and sensitive to criticism. Because of this factor and the fact that substance abuse lowers inhibitions and memory, inter-office social skills are often damaged. If it becomes a widely known fact that the employee is drinking to excess or abusing drugs, many employees will withdraw from contact with their colleague. This difficulty may contribute to an inefficient department because there is no sense of teamwork. This particular problem may also impact the woman's social life outside of the office. Usually a positive social life adds to an individual's self-esteem, thus increasing productivity at work. When her social life has been damaged by her abuse of alcohol and drugs, this will also impact her performance at work. Additionally, she may become depressed at the poor social life where family and friends have withdrawn, adding to the negative performance of her work capability and performance. Again, reduced productivity, no matter what the source, will be costly to the organization.
Another factor regarding the abuse of alcohol and drugs in female workers that can be costly to the organization is the physical effects that accompany such abuse. The female alcoholic or drug abuser is more likely to suffer a number of diseases than men because it takes smaller amounts of alcohol to impact women physiologically in the following ways:
- Excessive substance abuse can cause problems associated with the liver, stomach, and pancreas.
- Alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver has a more intense impact on women than men.
- This diseases associated with substance abuse can be debilitating and costly in terms of health insurance and time away from work for an organization.
- The use of alcohol and some drugs may interfere with adequate and effective sleep. This lack of sleep will have a negative impact upon the individual's job performance. If the individual has had inadequate sleep, she will be more likely to work more slowly, make errors, and make inappropriate decisions.
Additionally, women may suffer malnourishment from excessive substance abuse. This malnourishment may be due to a lack of proper eating, which impacts vitamin intake. Depending upon the drug that is abused, absorption of vitamins may be inadequate.
These factors have a negative impact upon the immune system, by making it less efficient or deficient. As a result, women may be more likely to develop a wide variety of diseases or illnesses.